Tuesday, 14 August 2007

sounds the same, but oh my! not the same

There are some problems with the language beyond my novice status. Apparently, this from someone fluent in Darjia, sometimes the singular tenses of a word means something quite different from the plural. Rebecca revealed the following to us over lunch at Paul’s as we sat outside in a shady corner by the fountain. Our backs at rest on the white cushions of the wrought iron chairs after a long walk, our thirsts was being assuaged with cool orange drinks for the girls and café au lait for me. We had just discovered we are all fans of the occasional Graycliff's cigar when Rebecca told us her story.

Our friend Rebecca, the brilliant, blonde, highly energetic, one who is engaged to a chap from Morocco, was trying to help her future in-laws with some medical jumping through the hoops. Her future father-in-law was poisoned (yes it IS a Ludlum novel) by the Chief of the Some-intelligence-organization (I don’t want to have to fast track it to the airport, and I don’t want anyone brought in for questioning. All names are changed, as are the professions, times, and positions. The story is true.) He lost his job and his fortune, but by sheer luck, not his life. Because of the poisoning he developed kidney failure and has been on dialysis for six years. It is even more difficult here to get a kidney transplant, albeit not if you have enough money (around 60,000 usd). Rebecca was explaining to the family about the different doctorS and what they would be doing. The plural of the word doctor unknown to her at that time, is pussy. Um, yes. (I did get permission to use this story). Just to make matters a bit more entertaining she was explaining that both of his kidneyS are now affected. The plural for the word kidney is balls. Consequently she was earnestly talking to her future in-laws about her father-in-law’s pussy and balls. Can you imagine the depth of red to which she blushed once she found this out? I think it is the sound rather than the actual word, I'm sure we will hear from Q on that.

Her fiancé is a young man who lives and works in New York City, and supports his family here. Long before meeting Abdul, Rebecca says she realized she was a Muslim. She says it was truly just like that. She was sitting at the table in her Christian parents’ home telling one of her cousins what she believed after study and thought, and she just realized she was a Muslim and so began to practice as one. She is understandably a bit prickly about the majority of people thinking she converted so she can marry Abdul.

Her other sticking point is the popular conclusion that she came to Morocco because of Abdul. It was instead one of those destiny happenings. She had applied for and received her ***** Grant (I told you she is brilliant) before she met him. They met and were engaged two months later. She has now had full immersion with his family as he is still in New York and she is here in Rabat doing her ****** research on business in Morocco. She is remaining through the end of the year to have the wedding here. That is one social event I am really looking forward to! They will then return to New York to live.

She is one of those young women that takes your breath away both with her knowledge and her enthusiasm. I shall be most interested to know where she is in ten years, and what she is doing.

I must get back to writing. Two more papers to go… the things I do to ward off senility!



jmb said...

"she just realized she was a Muslim and so began to practice as one"

I'll bet there's a bit more to the story than that.

Still I wish her luck and fortunately she will be living in New York.

Ah, language difficulties. Fortunately most people are very understanding as it so obvious that one is not a native speaker
but trying one's best.

lady macleod said...


Indeed. Do you think the Canadians will be able to understand me?

thank you for coming by.

xoussef said...

^^ difficult to differentiate Kaf and Qof lol! but can't yet figure out what that doctors word is :p

you'll attend a wedding, you must prepare a kaftan or tekchita then..
you have great taste, I'm sure you'll look wonderful.

Mama Zen said...

I am absolutely cringing on behalf of that poor girl!

lady macleod said...


I don't know love, she told us this tale over lunch and you know the extent of my Moroccan is a smile and shucran.

Oh yes, a great deal of the fun will be getting to have an outfit made! I may decide to go with one of the antiques from Mohammad in Fez, they are so very lovely. Mama Fatima of the Fez Medina has given me my dance instructions at the wedding we attended at her home. I just have to practice my hip movement.

What nice words at the end, that's the way to a woman's heart dear.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

mama zen

I know! but she is such a trooper she can see the humor in the situation.

thank you for coming by.

Graf von Straf Hindenburg said...

I agree with JMB here, whom I thought was in New York.

Katie said...

Ouch! That reminds me of a story that my Spanish teacher told about when she first went to Spain. She was trying to tell her host family that she was embarrassed but used the word 'embarazada', which means pregnant.

Matt Wardman said...

I hope for her sake he doesn't get radicalised, and that she knows what she is doing.


lady macleod said...


jmb is leaving on friday.

i just tell the story sparky. :-) but I do understand it. She had studied religions, and found she not only agreed with the tenets of Islam but she was living them. All that remained for her, was to declare her choice.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


oh dear! I can see where THAT would not work!

thank you for the story, and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


I can assure you if anyone knows what they are doing when it comes to marriage (and what love does to your brain makes that a crap shoot) Rebecca does.

I feel compelled to tell you that it is a small, small percentage of Muslims that are terrorists. One does not normally become a terrorist overnight, it is an organized process much like their attacks. In America I believe you have some Christians that have gone off the deep end, blowing up clinics and such.. so it can happen anywhere.

Abdul is quite busy supporting himself and his entire family here in Morocco. I doubt he sees his faith as a road to indiscriminate killing.

thank you for your comments, and thank you for coming by.

Omega Mum said...

Are you sure you're not in a deep hallucinatory state (like Arnie in that film about Mars?)Travel hasn't just broadened the mind in your case, but expanded it in several different directions simultaneously - like a quark (is that the right one). Anyway, it's wonderful. PS Tomates in Portuguese also means balls. What is it with sex and euphemism, and why hasn't someone come up with universal list?

Brillig said...

Oh. Mygosh. That's hilarious. The poor thing!

When I was in Argentina, one of our church leaders (an american man) stood up and gave a short sermon in church--and used an extremely offensive word that made the whole congregation GASP. Oh... it was such a bad moment. And I was the one who had to tell him that... maybe he shouldn't say that word anymore... because it doesn't mean what he thought it did. Awkward for everyone involved!

dulwichmum said...

How very funny, the poor girl. But what a wonderful way to mark the end of your stay!

lady macleod said...

omega mum

While true that a quark can go in several different directions up, down , charm, strange, top, and bottom, it's only when they are busted - which takes some powerful forces, then BAM. Quarks only exist inside hadrons because they are confined by the strong (or color charge) force fields.

Or you could be referring to Schrodinger's cat which demonstrates the quality of superposition. It demonstrates the difference between what we think we see and what is happening where we can't see.

Then quantum mechanics says namely that a number of qualities for particles aren't well-defined. For example, there is a theory by Werner Heisenberg called the Uncertainty Principle. It states that if a researcher wants to measure the speed and position of a particle, he can't do both very accurately. If he measures the speed carefully, then he can't measure the position nearly as well. This doesn't just mean he doesn't have good enough measurement tools -- it's more fundamental than that. If the speed is well-established then there simply does not exist a well-established position (the electron is smeared out like a wave) and vice versa.

So you see, I could be expanded and you can know where, but not how fast.

I can see the logic of tomatoes and balls. Oh surely somewhere someone has made that list!

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


Oh dear, poor minister, poor you!

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


Have you heard something? My plans are to stay for another six months or so.

thank you for coming by.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hoooray! I love the new look blog, the black used to strain my eyes! Right, now I've got that off my chest, I shall go and read what you've written.

lady macleod said...


good, and good! :-)

thank you for coming by.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Oh, she sounds intimidating, but I'm sure she's lovely. Did enjoy the double entendres, such a pain when that happens.
oooo, I've just noticed you're right there answering, hello!

lady macleod said...

hello piggy,

*wave* Yes she is lovely. from the sounds of the others' stories it happens quite frequently!

thank you for coming by, and reading so throughly!

xoussef said...

careful with those hip movements ;) or you'll end with twenty marriage proposals that night hehe
i mean on top of the regular twenty :p

ideally you can have the dress made for you, to match exactly what you want, but tailors have some pret à porter models, second-hand hand made ones and even some for rent...

anyway please promise you'll post a photo!

lady macleod said...


I love having that many choices. I had my winter djellabas made last year by a seamstress in the Fez Medina and they are gorgeous, and she did make me one kaftan with hand made lace that is so lovely, but not fancy enough for a big wedding I think. I shall have to decided what to do, what a fun decision.

We shall see about the wedding proposals... but thank you for saying it.

Oh dear I don't like having my photograph made, but all right just for this occasion because you asked.

thank you for coming by, again.

xoussef said...

hehe *happy*

seriously, Moroccan weddings are a real bride/groom hunt :p
have a nice day

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I think you are very far away from senility, Lady M! Very interesting post for me as a linguist so thank you.

Ruthie said...

What a funny story! That will be a fantastic story for the grandkids, when they're old enough.