Spreekt u Nederlands?
Gisteren had ik een interessant gesprek met een dierbare Ierse vriend die zichzelf in 1995 een heilig doel stelde: in 10 jaar beheers ik het Nederlands. Vol overgave stortte hij zich op zijn Ten year project
: de Delftse methode
werd direct aangeschaft en hij besloot alleen nog naar Nederlandse radio te luisteren. En met succes, want inmiddels zijn de 10 jaar om en leest hij Nederlands uitstekend, redt zich prima in bar of restaurant en begrijpt bijna iedere conversatie in het Nederlands. Alle moeite lijkt dus niet voor niets te zijn geweest. Tot gisteren een oude tekst ter sprake kwam, die mijn broer op de middelbare school kreeg voorgelegd tijdens de lessen Engels. Een taal leren draait helemaal niet om het kennen van de woorden of de grammatica; zonder kennis van het typische idioom, de staande uitdrukkingen, spreekwoorden, gezegdes en metaforen van een taal ben je nergens, aldus Patrick Maguire. Ik denk dat hij gelijk heeft, getuige de volgende versie van Klein Duimpje
die R. Cowsbrook jaren terug speciaal schreef voor Hugo Burnt Crustius:
ESCAPED FROM THE LANGUAGE-LAB
door R. Cowsbrook
There was once a poor woodchopper. This woodchopping, he said one day to his woman, there sits no dry bread in it. I work myself an accident the whole day, but you and our twelve children have not to eat.
- I see the future dark in, his woman agreed.
We must try to fit a sleeve on it, the woodchopper resumed; I have a plan: tomorrow we shall go on step with the children, and then, in the middle of the wood, we’ll leave them to their fate over. His woman almost went off her little stick when she heard this. What is there with you on the hand? she cried, aren’t you good sob? But the woodchopper wasn’t brought off his piece by her wailing, he gave no shrink. It cannot differ to me what you think, he said. There sits nothing else on, tomorrow we leave them in the wood.
Little Thumbie, the youngest son, had listened off his parents’ conversation. The next morning before day and dew he went out and filled his pockets with pebbles. During the walk in the wood he knew unmarked-up to drop them one by one. Then the parents told the children to sprockle some wood, and shined the plate.
When the parents didn’t come for the day any more the children understood that hey had been left in the stitch. Soon the waterlanders appeared. But Thumbie said: don’t sit down by your packages. I will sorrow for it that we all get home wholeskins. Thank be the pebbles, he was able to find his way back.
-By God, the parents said as they turned up, how have you ragged him that?
No art on, said Thumbie and explained what he had done. If you want to be rid of us you will have to stand up a bit earlier.
That is just what the parents did. This time there came no pebbles on to pass. All Thumbie had was a piece of dry bread. He decided that his bread there then but must believe to it. He left a trail of breadcrumbs but he didn’t have it in the holes that they were being made into soldiers by the birds.
His parents departed with the Northern sun, as on the day before, but this time Thumbie soon touched rid of the trail. What now? Good counsil was expensive. The sun was already under, it was raining pipestems and the crying stood Little Thumbie nearer than the laughing. At last he saw a tiny light through the trees; it turned out to be a house. The lady who stood them to word was a giantess. She gave them what to eat but Little Thumbie received the feeling that something wasn’t fluff. He had understood that the giantess’ man, the giant, was a people-eater who would see no bone in devouring them. If we do not pass up, he thought, we shall be the cigar; as soon as they saw their chance clean they took the legs and smeared him.
When the giant came home, he sniffed the air and bellowed: I smell people flesh! Woman, why have you let them go there from through? Bring me my seven-league boots, I go them behind after!
He was about to haul the children in, but wonder above wonder, just then he decided to lie down in order to snap a little owl.
Shoot up, help me! Thumbie said to his brothers as soon as the giant lay there pipping, we must see to make him his seven-league boots off-handy. He squeezed him like an old thief but they went ahead and knew him to draw his boots out. Now we must make that we come away! Little Thumbie said. He put on the boots and quickly made himself out of the feet, carrying his brothers along.
Also, he had seen change to roll the giant’s pockets and pick in all his gold pieces.
-How have you boxed that before each other? cried Thumbies parents in amazement when he showed up.
-It was a pod-skin, said Little Thumbie modestly. I may be small but I stand my little man. And look, I have also brought a lot of poon. We used not to be able to allow ourselves billy-goat’s leaps, but now we have our sheep on the dry. We will never come anything to short again! I shall be able to buy myself a nail-suit at last! And a woody-stringly!
-And I a soup-dress, cried his mother, they are you of it these days.
-Great, his father exulted. I shall buy us a motor-car.
That afternoon he came riding to the fore in a sled of a wagon. I seem to be having trouble riding straight out, Thumbie’s father complained.
-That you thank the cuckoo, his woman said, you have a piece in your collar. You have him round again. I shall stop you in bed.
The next day all the children were stuck in the clothes as well.
In her new soup-dress, mother looked a cleanliness.
After that, they moved to the Hague, where they bought a chest of a house on the New Explanation, and lived happily ever after.
Henri @ 09:32 | link