First of all, I cannot begin to express how much my heart melts reading all of your lovely and supportive comments. I feel lonely, but it’s comforting to open up my email and read your words of love and support. I know I mocked the iPhone not long ago, but its cool to lay down in my bed, curled up in a ball in tear, but having your sweet comment right there with me.
As promised, I might do a few posts throughout the week about my dad. I don’t think I’ll do it everyday, but for sure once or twice a week.
Welcome to the first one.
I never mentioned this but my dad’s name is Lou Lou. Actually its his nickname, short for Leon which was his given name. Later, that changed to Arieh, but he’ll always be Lou Lou. Even though I call him Aba. But only I can call him that 😛
Anyhow……I was BEYOND relieved when I got a phone call from my dad this morning saying he wanted me to bring him some juice and ice cream on my way to visit him. I started crying on the phone because the surgeon said he may not be able to talk again after such a risky surgery in the language area of the brain….which bring me to today’s post.
My dad’s languages.
My dad’s Belgian. You can read this post to read more about that. So his first language was Flemish. How do you speak Flemish? The dirty little secret is that Flemish and Dutch are really the same language. Yes, I know that all the Belgians will kill me for writing that, but the differences between Flemish and Dutch are only as big as that between American and British English. Flemish/Dutch consits largely of the consonants v,s,c,h,r and k. Dutch is surprisingly easy to learn. Simply fill your mouth with chips and then speak English and German simultaneously without breathing.
My dad’s second language is French. But I think he’s actually most comfortable in it. Its the language he speaks with his childhood friends. Granted, Belgians tend to speak french with a “Belgian” accent but my dad can fake a “Parisian French” accent. So he blends well with the French and Belgians. Not so much with the British because I don’t think the British are fond anything associated with the French.
My dad’s third (possible tie with second though) is Hebrew. He moved to Israel with his parents when he was three. I think my grandparents didn’t like living there very much because they moved back to Belgium when he was six. But at least it added another language on his belt. He later went to do his undergrad in Israel so the Hebrew for sure came in handy!
My dad’s forth language is Polish. The crazy thing is he has never set foot in Poland. Ever. He knows it because his parents spoke it to one another. I guess they were hoping he wouldn’t pick it up, but he did.
My dad’s fifth language is German. My Grandfather was indeed from Poland, but my Grandmother was from Germany. A “Berliner” (did someone get that Kennedy reference? Sorry, American history junkie). Since my grandmother was a stay at home mom, and my dad an only child, you can bet your German ass she instilled German in him.
Finally, my dad’s sixth language is English. I’m not sure when he learned English but I’m assuming in elementary school in Belgium. Dutch is a lot like English, so it wasn’t a stretch for him. He moved to the US in the seventies and did his masters at UCLA in the eighties (around the time I was born). He does have a slight accent, but no one has a clue what sort of accent it is.
Out of all these languages I really only know Hebrew fluently (and I can read and write which is SO difficult!). I don’t like to say I speak French because I don’t practice it very much these days. But I understand it. My Dutch is terrible, I need people to speak SUPER slowly for me to understand. My dad claims that I have no accent when I speak it but I think he’s totally lying. I’ll just stuff those chips in my mouth and speak English.
More recipes tomorrow. Recipe development has taken a back seat but I have a few recipes on reserve. Anyhow, do you speak any other languages? What would you like to learn? I always wanted to learn Port