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Saturday, 12 June 2010

You say potato, I say potahto...

I studied the French language for seven years. I love the way my facial muscles work when I speak it (rarely and haltingly but with, I have been told by native French speakers, a fine accent), I love the sound of the language and the way it all rolls together. And I learned to accept as normal the male and female noun thing.  I read this morning about what The Virtual Linguist calls "gender systems." I didn't know it was called that.

I wonder how that happened...that some things are female and others are male. And why are they male in German and female in Spanish?  Why, in the US, are cars referred to as "she"? And dogs, most often by not-dog people, "he"?

It's a funny thing.

A friend of mine studied German for about the same length of time that I studied French. I don't understand the capitalizing of various words in German, either. Dutch and German sound very much alike to me. Are words capitalized in Dutch as well?

Language: A wonderment.