Language Perils

My husband has an interest in maps and languages.  One of his absolute favorite things to do is sit with an atlas…doesn’t matter from where…and study it.  He will buy a map from a city and that will entertain him for hours.  Another love of his is learning a new language.  He will start his new language just before winter starts and all winter long, every night, he will spend hours on the computer learning his new language.

It begins with watching the free You-Tube videos.  Then he starts purchasing the CDs for the language.  Then a dictionary.  Then starts making flash cards.  Then childrens’ books in that language.  So on, so on and so on.

He’s a pianist and when he concentrates on a particular composer, he plays all of the music from that composer.  If they speak/spoke a different language, then he feels the need to read their words in the native language.  Admirable.  As  long as you don’t have to live with the said person learning language!

He started off with Dutch years ago when we were first married.  Every time he didn’t know what to do with himself, he’d get the Dutch information out.  This went on for years.  I was kind of relieved when he did the same with Spanish…thinking…good, this is useful, they are always saying how good it is to know Spanish.  That didn’t last long.

Last winter it was French.  I have tried French several times and never succeeded.  He was quite pleased with himself in accomplishing something I could not.  He was making flash cards of various words and placing them on our appliances and furniture.  Ok, I could deal with that.

Forward to this past winter.  Out of the blue, he decided that Norwegian would be a good language to learn.  He started off with You-Tube free videos.  The woman he was learning from wasn’t even Norwegian…so it was Norwegian with a NY accent.  I dealt with his proud pronunciations for a month.  Fast forward to last night…he has now been learning Norwegian since October.  9 months.

Every night after dinner, my husband gets my computer for a few hours before he goes to bed(he’s an early one…in bed by 9).  It had been a tough week workwise for me and I had made myself a cup of coffee and settled in my chair.  Kitty was on my lap and Zowie in her cage nearby.  We all were dozing a bit(pets and I).  All of the sudden, I hear a mumbling coming from my husband’s part of the living room.  He is wearing earphones and mumbling quite loudly in Norwegian.

Kitty started shifting around on my lap.  Zowie started getting agitated.  First she flapped her wings. Her next show of displeasure was rattling her string of bells.  And lastly, when nothing stopped the mumbling, she climbed down to her bottom perch where she could reach her door and started lifting that and slamming it…over and over again.  Between that and the mumbling, the minor headache I have basically had all week blew into a major one.

I had to calm Zowie down so I went over to her cage and petted her while soothingly talking to her.  Thankfully it was soon 9 and hubby stopped being on the computer.  “You were kind of vocal tonight…”  “Oh, was I?  I was listening to a Norwegian song and reading the lyrics…”

He went to bed.  Peace reigned once again.  You know, I always wanted to get back to Norway again…I had been there with my parents once and it was breathtakingly beautiful.  But between Disney’s Frozen cruises and my husband learning Norwegian, I think I am foregoing it for a while…

til next time…Eva

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