Posts tagged 07/13/2011
Potatoes In the Mouth

I am in Sweden this week in order to visit my  brother Simon and his family, in Lund, and in order to attend a conference in Stockholm.  I do not speak Swedish.  We arrived in Copenhagen from Germany, and I do not speak Danish either. When I made comments to Simon about hearing and not understanding Danish, my brother muttered things about the people across the bridge and potatoes. This is a common critique: someone speaks a language closely related to yours, and you claim that they speak your language with potatoes in their mouth. I have heard Germans call Dutch “children’s German” and of course the British and the Americans exchange various digs about who speaks English with greater sophistication, or with less pretention, or what have you.  

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