I don’t know if it’s the insomnia i’ve had over the past few days, or simply the fact that I’ve been looking at and listening to other languages a lot this weekend. I have been listening to my Swedish music and reading a book in Swedish… and I also decided to start learning Estonian, so I have started to do a bit with that. Listening to music, looking up language basics, etc. Maybe my issue is a mixture of both no sleep and the immersion back into more-than-usual foreign interaction… but I have been having the strangest sensation.
Yesterday, as I was sitting at my desk – more than once I heard people in the hall talking and I could swear they were speaking a foreign language. Foreign in the way that I couldn’t understand what they were saying, even though I knew they are Australian and obviously speaking English. Though I had no issue if someone actually walked into my office and spoke to me directly.
My brain is fucking with me.
I have had similar issues in the past where I will read English words, but sound them out as a Swede would and then get so confused because it obviously then doesn’t make sense. After a moment I realize I’m reading English it all makes sense again.
Luckily Svea agrees this type of stuff happens to her constantly. She is always forgetting what language she is speaking or what language her current book she is reading is in. Good to know I am not alone! I’m sure it is worse for her since she has need to flip back and forth more often.
I recall a time back in High School that Svea was chatting to me and suddenly said “Oh! Sorry! I was speaking Swedish!” I laughed and told her she had been doing it for the last 20 minutes… and if I hadn’t understood her I would have told her.
Maja likes to fuck with me sometimes by writing English words in Swedish phonetics – so that if you were to read it aloud it would be English, but with a very thick Swedish accent.
Honestly, it makes me laugh every time. But the very first time I read English in a Swedish accent, it was through an Elvis comic in the Stockholm Metro paper. I had no idea what I was reading and I was so confused. I thought I had better say it out loud because it must be slang spelling – as a lot of comics do – (usually they spell like “Mej” instead of “Mig” for example.) I then realized, not only was I speaking English – but I was speaking very rude English with a thick, thick Swedish accent. This made me laugh even more heartily than the actual joke.
**“Vaj ju nävär ansär ven aj kall?” Maja writes to me. “Ju sac!” She adds. I comment on how it makes me giggle every time and she tells me “Aj lajk to spik inglish vit ju.”
It makes me giggle – but now I think perhaps Maja just might be responsible for the fuckery in my head.
Thanks for that, Maja.
** “Why you never answer when I call?” …”You suck!” … “I like to speak English with you.”