02 February, 2005


I've made a good number of friends in the weeks I've been here.  They are presented below in random order along with their nation of origin in brackets and a bit of info about the name's pronunciation. 

Molly:  [USA] Of all of the names below, this is by far the hardest for a German to pronounce.  She says "Molly" about twice, gives up and says "Mully," which they immediately understand. This is the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Ugur:  [Turkey] Pronounced with a Soft G.  This sound does not exist in the English language, so I cannot tell you how to pronounce it.  Whenever I try, I end up saying "Uhr" which means clock.  So I just say "Ugur" like it's spelled and he looks at me with a wince of pain and answers my question.

Antti:  [Finland] When two consonants appear next to each other in the Finnish language, there is a pause in the word.  So the name is pronounced An....ti.  We honestly thought he was just confused when he first told us his name and immediately butchered it into Anti.  It's kind of like the Finnish word for Frog:  Sammakko.  Yes. You pause twice while saying Frog.  Sam....mak....ko.  It seems to me that one would die of old age before getting a whole sentence out, but apparently a whole culture follows these conventions.  (Antti, ich weiß, dass du das lesen werde.  Es ist nur Spaaaaßßßßhaaaabeeen!)

Ufuk: [Turkey]  This is pronounced nothing like the terrible word running through your head, you terrible, terrible person.  I really can't describe how to pronounce it, but usually when people say it, I say Gesundheit! because I thought they sneezed.

Ferdi: [Bulgaria]  Ferdi doesn't speak any English.  I take that back.  He can say the following phrases:
    1)  "Congratulations" - except, this is said in a weird tone that makes you think you might have just blown someone's head off.
    2)  "Fire in the hole!" - I found out he knew this phrase on an elevator that made a weird clunking noise.  I told him not to do that again.
    3)  "Counterstrike" - A video game.  His other English phrases suddenly make sense.

All I know about Ferdi is whatever random snippets of his life he can convey with our limited German.  He may or may not be wanted by the Bulgarian Military.  I think I need to learn a few more words before I find out what that's all about.

Kristi:  [USA]  Pronounced like it's spelled.  What do ya know.

Nathan: [USA] Says he will go by Günther here because the "th" sound does not exist in the German language and he is therefore called Natan or Nazan.  Yes, "Günther" has a "th" in it, however, it is pronounced like a T.

Marie-Louise:  [Germany] Yes! I do know a German!  This is my assigned buddy.  She is the most wonderful person.  She helped me survive my first week here (see Bürokratie!) and she's a hella lot of fun to be around.

Irene:  [Germany]  Mully's assigned buddy.  Also a lot of fun.  I don't see her often though.  She's one of those people that knows absolutely everyone that goes to the school, so I assume she's busy.  She was in a play we went to see, and I assume she did a good job.  It was in German.

Muhammad:  [Tunisia] Lives across the hall from me.  Does not speak english.  Asking him to join us for dinner the other day was very difficult.  I was telling him we were having spaghetti, and I knew the German word for spaghetti is Spaghetti.  So I said "Wir haben Spaghetti."  He didn't get it.  Molly came by and I was like "Oh! you can talk to him!" because they both speak French.  So she said the word spaghetti in French, which is "Spaghetti."  What do ya know?  He immediately understood.  This is the Ninth Wonder of the World.

Et al.:  [Various Regions] I've met a good number of other people here, but don't have enough time to write them all here.  Nor do I know how to spell their names.

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