Sunday, February 8, 2009

Un quiz fatal

I quite like the word fatal because it happens to exist in both French and Spanish (pronounced "fah-tahl" in the latter). It's perhaps funnier to me because the same word in English, of course, means "deadly" or "resulting in death." This, I think, causes me to use the word quite frequently in Spanish anyway because it produces in me this immense satisfaction that I am expressing something dramatically and in a rather colloquial manner that they don't teach you in school. ¿Cómo te fue la noche? How was your night? ¡Me la pasé fatal! It was awful!

What a fabulous word.

So I call attention now to the terrible quiz mentioned in the title of the entry. I was trying to take an end-of-unit quiz for the French stuff that I am studying on my own as part of the BBC 12 week online lessons (free). But they, for some reason, were asking me to answer using words they had never taught me. And even more interesting is the fact that, where doubt or confusion existed, I turned to Spanish. The quiz attempted to prompt the following answer (in French) from me, "Thank the man [for giving you directions]." To which I immediately replied in my head with, "Gracias, señor... oh crap, that's Spanish... uh, uh... Merci!... Merci, señor... I mean, oh god... monseiur. Merci, monseiur."

This was quickly followed by the word fatal popping into my head as I quietly shook my head in defeat, and went meandering off to find out if fatal or its rough equivalent existed in French. Excitingly enough, it does, although I have no idea how the French say it, and I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't pronounce anything past the first A. That's just how they roll.

Apparently, the second language does start replacing the first one as the go-to language for learning the third. This is going to be fun to see how messed up my brain gets and how it sorts itself out.

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