Monday, February 22, 2010

Skarpetki reign

There are certain words in Polish that I absolutely love to say. The first word I became infatuated with was "kanapki" (sandwich) and took any opportunity that presented itself to use it.

"Dave... what do you wanna do for dinner tonight? Maybe want to have some KANAPKIS?"

"Uh, sure..."

"No, I want waffles. I just needed to say kanapki. K-A-N-A-P-K-I. Kanapki. Do you want to say it? Kanapki!"

But I've long since moved on from kanapkis. (I'm now over half-way through level 1 in Polish. Kanapki was so last week.)

Of course I'm always trying to use my new-found language skills. For example, I've been trying to engage Pippi in conversation. I ask her what her name is (in Polish), then answer for her (in Polish) "My name is Pippi. I live in the United States. I am a grey cat. I am small. Ella, my sister, is big." She stares at me, interested and with what I think is a glimmer of understanding in her eyes, but she never really jumps in. Perhaps she speaks Ukrainian. Anyway. Using my new language is fun and all, but what I really love is that catchy Polish vocab.

Kanapki's reign ended when I stumbled upon my new favorite word. When I learned it I laughed out loud. I said it at least 25 times in a row. I looked around my kiosk to see if there was anyone I could say it to. I said it at home as many times as I could get away with. I thought it as I fell asleep. It popped back into my mind the second I awoke.

A few days ago I was in the shower, scrubbing up and reciting it to myself.

"Skarpetki. S-K-A-R-P-E-T-K-I. Skarpetki. SKARPETKI!!!"

I lathered up my hair. "Skarrrrrpetki!'

I soaped up my sponge. "Skarpetki."

I stayed in the shower until the water became cold, gazing out the window, dreaming about the future, smiling to myself, and mumbling "skarpetki" over and over. At times I attempted to roll my R's, others I went heavy on the "KI". I said it every which way. "SKARPETKI!" I got out of the shower smiling.

Skarpetki means "socks."

As I dried off I wondered if anyone out there learning English was as attracted to English socks as I am to Polish skarpetki. I felt a bit doggish. What if the tables were turned? How hard would I laugh if I were a fly on the wall watching a foreigner stand naked and soapy in their shower with a crack pot smile on their face as they chanted a heavily accented adaptation of the word "sock"?

With my towel wrapped around me I went into to my room feeling a little silly, and a little childish. I combed my hair, unpaused my "Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix" audio book, and started getting dressed. Black bra, black undies, black beater, black jeans, and....

Czarny Skarpetki!!!

1 comment:

  1. Kanapki is already plural! My favorite polish word at the moment is kotki. Kitties!!!!