Thursday, December 27, 2007

My tongue almost rolled out of my mouth ...

the drummer's hands, originally uploaded by - di.

Greet called over today.

She popped in to pick up the Gnauoua Family photographs and we were having a lovely visit when Gert walked in.

Those of you unaccustomed to Dutch probably pronounce his name with a hard 'g' sound, as in gherkin and that's not quite how it goes.

Phonetically his name is more like ... 'Hierrrrrrt'.
It's said with a bit of a growl really. To pronounce it correctly, I have to sound a little bit cross with him so ... it's all a bit fraught when I'm introducing him to others.

He had never met Greet.

Sigh, so there was me, the New Zealander who struggles with 'r' rolling and G sounds as the person who had to introduce them to each other.

Yes yes, Manic, it was that amusing.

On the bright side, I've got a Gnauoua Family rehearsal to attend in the near future and one of the members has played all over the Sahara Desert and is rumoured to be a man full of stories ...

Fingers crossed that he wants to tell some to me.


Manictastic said...

Well, normally we don't do rolling r's, but they have become rather fashionable, as in everyone is using them.

I think you should look for otherways to introduce people, like play a name game or something. Will save you lots of trouble :D

Di Mackey said...

I think the name game is a brilliant way to go ... thanks for this too, Manic.

wandering-woman said...

Okay so how do you say Gnauaou (the name of the family)?
And I'm sure you've noticed I turn my "h" G off when I speak English and slip saying Gert's name every so often. So I share Greet's pain.

Ask Gert if we can just call him "Buck". Think he'd mind?

Peter said...

You know Di, I had a most amusing conversation in Dutch with the (native) English speaking wife of one of my brothers on Christmas Eve.

After years in Belgium and an husband who immersed her both at home and during countless hours of Dutch classes, we decided that English would make the evening so much more enjoyable for the both of us ;-)

You're not alone - Dutch is phonetically hard for most English speakers.

I can even relate to the experience: for me (a Dutch speaking native) German (a closely related language) is a daunting experience when it comes to guttural consonants.

It must be comforting to realize that classic Arabic would probably break both our tongues :-)

Di Mackey said...

Okay Erin, I consulted with my Belgian Babelfish and he said 'Gnawa' ... so let's believe him :) When I catch up with them, I'll ask though.

He snorted with laughter when I asked about you calling him 'Buck' ... something about 'that's crazy'. But he did laugh.

Hi Peter, lovely to read of your enjoyable conversations in English :)

I remember the speakers of Arabic gently teasing me in Nederlands class, saying that I would need surgery to get the correct sound from my NZ mouth and when I said 'What about if I learned Arabic?' they almost fell over laughing. I guess that meant they thought that task impossible, based on my performance back then.