Crazy Aunt Purl wrote yesterday about a trip she took to British Columbia. She cracks me up anyway, but her last sentence was what got me today. “I do love me some lobster.”
Since I’m creating new languages and more importantly, since I failed to learn an existing one so spectacularly, Southern phrases are more funny to me now. Some of them are firmly entrenched in my vocabulary and I don’t even notice anymore. People who don’t speak English, or Southern, get confounded by them. Try to translate “I do love me some lobster” into any foreign language and you’ll see why I was so bad at learning! Learning the words and pronunciation is one thing; stringing them together into a sentence can cause real problems.
When we were getting ready to leave Italy, we stayed in the same hotel we’d staying in when we arrived. We got to know the manager pretty well since we pretty much lived there a total of six weeks. He thanked me for something one afternoon, and I said, “You bet!”
He looked confused and asked me to repeat it, and when I did, he looked more confused and asked, “Is that dialect?” That’s when I learned that slang doesn’t exist in Italian. They don’t even understand the concept. Nice to know as I was leaving.
Now, I have to tell you that Max is a linguist if ever I knew one. He’s Italian who speaks all the Italian dialects, English, French, and Spanish fluently, and was learning Swedish. To stump him with two words made me laugh! I explained that it was Southern for “You’re welcome” and he was so excited. Apparently they had a family from Texas with reservations at some future point and he was thrilled to have that little phrase in his arsenal!
I’m finding that it’s easier to make a language than to learn one. Now I understand how we got Elven and Klingon. (Should it scare me that my spell-checker recognizes Klingon?) Having said that, I don’t think I could effectively translate “I do love me some lobster” into Dregl. Maybe Southern Dregl. Somebody stop me–I’ll be coming home this weekend with Dregl Redneck jokes.