Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 18: What's in a word

It's amazing how much energy you can free up when you tar tag i gamla surdegar. I'm afraid Google translate will not help you with this one. It's an idiom in Swedish whose literal translation is something like grabbing old sourdoughs. What it actually means is dealing with something you've put off for a long time.

In my case, this meant finally writing that letter I've been want to send for over a week now. Sometimes, figuring out what is hindering you is not half as important as simply getting down to the task at hand. When I finally got down to this one, I found that by giving the Perfectionist in me a rest and simply accepting good enough, the letter got written and sent in no time at all.

Almost immediately, my step got lighter and my heart beat quicker. I answered some e-mails, cooked food for the next few days and took off for the Language Exchange MeetUp where I participated as a native English speaker.

What a lively discussion we had. It kind of amused me because the people at my table (we met at a cafe in Gamla Stan, the old city) spoke quite good English and I found myself wondering why they needed me. Still, it was fun to focus on the minutiae. Some questions that came up:

  • "You don't seem to be interested..." vs. "You seem not to be interested" 
  • Speaking vs. talking
  • Farther vs. further

On the whole, I think I would be of more use at the Swedish Language Exchange, and I am anxious to give the French one a try. Do I encore savoir parler français?

BTW, I'm sure there's an English equivalent to the sourdough idiom...and if you know it, please advise! 

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