Wednesday, December 12, 2001

On this dim and misty morning, the lights of the city obscured by the wet, I was just a couple of narrow old cobble-stoned streets from the office when a woman some 20 meters in front of me called out "Har du sett en hund?"

I didn't understand her. First I said, "Vad sade du?" (Which literally means what did you say and is the Swedish equivalent of excuse me when one hasn't caught what someone else has just said.)

But when she repeated it and I still didn't understand, I had to say "I'm sorry...?" (Which to my ears that seem to refuse to understand anything other than English, sounds remarkably like "Vad sade du" - which is pronounced something like vahsahroo. "Vahsahroo" - "I'm sorry," do you, uh, hear what I mean?)

And as she said, "Have you seen a dog?" I realized what she had asked me.

"No, sorry," I said.

Sometimes it seems like the road ahead is so long, that I am failing utterly at learning this language.

- by Francis S.

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