Wednesday, January 28, 2009


No, not the English word comment referring to a remark... it's the French word for What? I didn't hear what you said. It, like many French words, looks a whole lot more complicated than it actually sounds. It, in fact, shows off its romance language ties to Spanish, since it is pronounced surprisingly close to ¿Cómo? in Spanish, which means the same thing.

It also expresses how I feel in diving back into French again. It's not even so much of a diving in, as a testing of the water with a toe. Awhile back, and a couple of times at that, I waded about knee-high into Rosetta Stone, splashed around for a bit and then came right back out. I'm not going to lie; the thought of trying to articulate those guttural "r"s in the back of my throat makes me shirk away in fear. What if I just simply cannot do them justice?

What if an obnoxiously Americanized manner of curling my tongue prevails? ... or if I keep rolling them like a Spanish speaker? ... or if I try to make the sound and it comes out too strong? ... or... or what if, after all is said and done, no "r" exists? What if I try and it doesn't come out? Perhaps, it will make no sound at all. Just a little escaping air, a little shaky breath of uncertainty...

Maybe I'll just be really bad at it.

And maybe I won't.

And should I keep myself from trying to learn an entire language for fear of mispronouncing a letter in its alphabet? It seems that I already have.

By the way, what do French pirates say? Aaaarrrrrrrrrrr...

I don't know. Juh-nuh say pah.

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