Brought to you by the letter “K”
So maybe a Sesame Street reference isn’t the best way to start this topic, but I felt the need for balance.
Ever notice when someone is learning a new language that the funny stories about mispronunciation and failed communication include accidentally saying vulgar words? Well, this is one of those stories, so please excuse me and bear with me. Also note that this is post # 1, because I expect this to happen many times bringing me great embarrassment and laughter (both being laughed at and with) while supplying me with entertaining writing material for your curious eyes. Win win!
Today I decided to re-strategize my self-studying efforts with my new green post- its. I made a list of kitchen friendly vocabulary and phrases and stuck them to the cabinet so I can study them while cooking. You know, context and all that.
While compiling my list I consulted my husband if words were correct and how to pronounce them. This seems to be my best shot at speaking at this point, trying and then repeating vocabulary. I decided to only put the Swedish words without translation, so I was very serious and stubborn about this study session. And so I compiled my list, and then read each word or phrase out loud, rinse and repeat. I tried hard to pronounce everything as best as I could which was going great until a warning was set in motion that one of the words is dangerously close to something that has nothing to do with cooking or kitchen, but instead male genitalia.
And so, I tried again. And again. and again. And each time I repeated the word I got further and further away from the word “kokar” (cook) and closer to the word “kukar” (…cocks). Which, come to think of it are awfully alike in English as well. The more emphasis my husband put on the “oo” sound the more I pronounced the “uu.” Determined to get it right, through tears of hysterical laughter I couldn’t stop accidentally saying “coooc… (you get the idea).” Repeatedly. And Loudly. I was just thankful that no one could hear me (hopefully), and that my pronunciation was discovered at home instead of in two weeks when we go to visit my husbands family and I am always helping in the kitchen (one of my motivations for this list).
The good news is that after trying for 15 minutes straight I can now pronounce “kukar” perfectly (but “kokar” is still to be avoided at all costs).