Sunday, November 01, 2009

A SWEET BILINGUAL ERROR


Dinosaur biscuits
Originally uploaded by PhylB
Last weekend the weather was so dire, we hardly set foot outside. To distract the kids I got Léon and Lots to make biscuits together. They used a Danish recipe. Thomas told them they had to roll the pastry out fairly thin and bake the biscuits for just five minutes. After five minutes I wasn't sure whether they were cooked through because I wasn't entirely sure they'd rolled them thinly enough. Go and ask Thomas what colour the biscuits should be, I told Pudge. He returned and proudly replied pinkish brown! Pinkish brown??? What the hell is pinkish brown, I wondered. I know Thomas never speaks to Léon in English so I translated in my head the words pink and brown into Danish and suddenly I understood. Danish for pink is lyserød, literally light red. I had expected Thomas's answer to be either light or dark brown. Of course Thomas must have said lysebrun (light brown) but when Pudge heard the lyse the only colour he knew beginning lyse was pink. He's obviously never analysed the meaning of the word lyserød and has simply taken it to mean pink, no more, no less. Sweet!

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