Shortly after her move from Russia to Massachusetts, Lydmila went shopping in the meat department and said to the butcher, I'll take 2 kilos of that language, please.
You want What?
And she was confused about how he could be confused.
See, Lydmila was thinking in Russian but speaking English. The Russian word, язык -- pronounced YA-zik -- means physical tongue. It also means language or spoken tongue. And tongue is what she wanted to buy. And that's what she told the butcher. Or so she thought.
Oh, what an adventure is language learning.
Speaking of adventure, here's a peek at my Russian language books. Oh there's more. . . there's lots more. Years back, I thought that buying language books would make me fluent. Oh, you mean purchasing the books is not enough?
Eventually I realized that these books have to be opened. And devoured. I learned that language is acquired not merely by . . . what is it? There's a word for that. . . it's right here. On the tip of my. . . tongue. I truly just thought of it: osmosis. That's it. The info in such books is not acquired simply by walking past them 267 times a day and hoping for osmosis.
Let's zoom on in for a close-up. See the two cans serving as bookends? Those are cans of beef язык. The perfect thing for a shelf of books about the Russian tongue.
How about you, dear blog reader. Have you had special adventures of walking into a store and asking for something in a second language? And only you knew what you were talking about? Please share. No need to bite your tongue. . .