Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Life in the Middle #2
"And this icelandic phrase just means, Thanks for the foot. You say it as a courtesy after meals ."
Well that's wierd, I thought, Why in the world would you say thanks for the foot after a meal. Is there some sort of old cultural explanation to this? I have got to ask a question on this one.
"So are you saying that "Takk fyrir matinn" means thanks for the foot and you say it after a meal? Is that like our vocabulary word maturinn, the foot?"
"Yes, maturinn means 'the foot', it is with the article. It is deifinite. Here it just is matinn, or foot. Thanks for the foot."
I watch as Annie flips to the page in her notebook where she has drawn a wild picture of the human body and adds the parts as we learn them in class. Beside the foot she writes in 'maturinnn'. This just isn't making any sense to me. Why do they thank someone for the foot after the meal.Usually if we have wierd phrases like this he gives some historical explanation about how the phrase developed, why isn't he doing it for this one. I have to ask again, maybe he didn't understand me?
"So does this come from some history of people eating sheep feet or something, that explains why they say, "Thanks for the foot" instead of "Thanks for the food?"
"I don't understand what you mean. That's what I'm saying, "Thanks for the food (pronounced foot). It is something you eat,I don't know what you mean about sheep feet. The word is matinn, it means food (foot)."
"Ok, so 'matinn' means food and 'maturinn' means foot."
"No, they are the same word, they mean food (foot). One is indefinite. One is definite."
Oh, now it is making sense. I heard him wrong on the same word in two different lessons. Annie, the teacher, and I all realize what has happened and we begin to laugh. I look over and Annie is scratching her label out on her picture of the human body with a sigh.
Language students hear the darnedest things. Or was that, Kids say the darnedest things. Or maybe being a language student is just like being a kid again.
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org at 9:52 AM