My Khmer Tutor…

Occasionally gives me these bewildered, horrified looks that make me laugh.  Most recently because of this dialog:

Tutor:  “Where are you going?”

Conrad:  “I’m going to the school.”

Tutor:  “Where is the school?”

Conrad:  “The school is coming here.”

And apparently what I said was enough like a valid Khmer sentence that she couldn’t figure out what was going on.

I’m not too good with languages.  And then, some of the sounds sound identical to my American ears.  “It’s not ‘thla,’ it’s ‘thla,'” she’ll tell me.

(In effect, I’m flying blind.  She says my pronunciation is quite good, for a foreigner — which I’ve heard before, so I think it’s not just encouragement.  But I can’t go by what I hear; I have to remember the position of my mouth and tongue.  The verbal equivalent of working in a dark room.)

By the end of the hour, my brain hurts.

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Published in: on September 17, 2009 at 12:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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