Friday, August 5, 2011

Captain's Log, Day 39: Help, There's a Hog in My Kitchen!

          Foreign languages are my weakness.
          My adviser at college recently informed me that I am required to have two semesters of some foreign language. I asked him if he thought I should master ENGLISH before I moved on to other languages. Thank the Lord for spelling and grammar check.
          Perhaps you've heard me say this before...but forget the pyramids. The greatest achievements of mankind are spell check, Google, and WolframAlpha. If you don't know what WolframAlpha is, look it up. It's the best math/science program/website out there. It saved my butt during Calc 3, so you know it's gotta be good.
          Anyway, back to the subject of foreign languages. I am no stranger to other tongues, as it were; I just suck at them. I've taken Spanish, Italian, Latin, and possibly one other, but I can't remember squat from any of them. I also tried inventing my own language with the help of my siblings. We were most practical--we could insult each other in dozens of different ways, but unfortunately we never got some of the basic words down (such as pass, the, and salt). Interestingly enough, this was also around the same time we invented these really weird imaginary kingdoms. To this day, I am eternally grateful that we lived out in the middle of nowhere--if anyone had stumbled across us back then, say during one of our many battles with imaginary foes, he would have seen us swinging sticks at nothing and screaming unintelligible things. We probably looked like we were having some kind of insane fit. It still cracks me up, thinking about it.
          My brother Nemesis is pretty good with both Latin and Italian. He can read Latin fairly well, anyway, and he got the furthest of any of us in our Italian program. Mom thinks she can understand animals ("Look! The ducks are happy today!" "How do you know?" "They're smiling!" "MOM, their beaks are fixed in that shape!"), but it's anyone's guess as to what extent. My dad claims he knows dozens of languages, but when we question him, he usually evades us on a technicality. "Yeah, sure, I know Italian!" "Oh yeah? Prove it." "Okay...LASAGNA. SPAGHETTI. Wanna hear some Japanese? TOYOTA." (Also, when I was telling him about Taekwondo and how it was different from Karate, he told me "Hey, I know Karate. And Judo. And Kung Fu. And a whole lot of other Japanese words!" Thanks, Dad.)
          Actually, my favorite foreign language incident happened in Rome, Italy. We were at a resteraunt, and we'd just ordered our food outside. There was some loud talking from inside, and I asked my brother to translate. He shrugged. Dad listened for a second before announcing, "Hey, I know what he's saying!"
          Wary of a trap, we exchanged glances before giving in. "Okay, what?"
          "Help, there's a hog in my kitchen!"

1 comment:

  1. I really have to laugh at this one!!!!!! P.S. My mom works with hogs, so it makes it even funnier, as she once said that herself.