Monday, August 4, 2008

Amateur Linguistics

Jenn and I are in Plovdiv (safe, for all you worriers). We were supposed to be on the Istanbul train tonight but it is full!! I am kinda bummed about that, but what can you do. I have waited three years to be in Istanbul, I can wait another day. Plovdiv is a really nice, charming city, the second biggest in Bulgaria. You should remember from last year that I really like Bulgaria. I am having somewhat of a different experience here this year. Now I know even Serbian that every Slavic language doesn't sound like Serbia (I used to think Polish or Russian classmates were great at Serbian when they were really just speaking in their mother tongue), it's nice that Bulgarian doesn't sound like Serbian to me, especially since I can realise how similair the languages actually are. Of course, this doesn't mean I can get around in Serbian. I egotistically thought so, but now I'm thinking whenever I say anything in Serbian, what I want is so obvious that I could be speaking English. Today while trying to order a pancake/crepe the conversation went something like this:

me:PETnaest
lady:?
me:PETnaest
lady:?
me: *points to 15 on menu*
lady: oh, petNAEST

Apparently the accent is in a different place on the word than in Serbian. My host corrects me everytime I say ZAsto ne (zaSTO ne or zasto da ne in Serbian. with a thingie over the S. Why not. One of my favorite phrases.) Either that or I don't say things correctly in Serbian. Who knows.

We've had many hilarious linguistics incidents. Here is a typo Bulgarian joke I will share with you:
What's the difference between Roma and Macedonians?
The Roma have a language but no nation, Macedonians have a nation but no language. (Bulgarians think Macedonian is simply a dialect of Bulgarian.)

1 comment: