Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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Random memory: receiving my first letter from a French boy who would become my pen-friend. Part of his letter (in German) was "Meine Geschicklichkeit ist: [street + number, postal code, town]"; that is, in English, "My dexterity is: [street + number, postal code, town]".

While I knew what he meant, I wondered how he had come up with that word, but I had a suspicion. I looked up "Geschicklichkeit" in my German–French dictionary, and sure enough, it had "adresse" as one of the translations. I suppose he looked up the word in a F–G dictionary but didn't want to pick the cognate, so he went for the Germanic word—which, unfortunately, doesn't mean what he wanted :) "Adresse" is the only word I can think of in German that's used for "address" (place where something is).

Later on, I would write him letters in French and he would reply in German; we would then correct each other's letters and send them back with our next letter, as a way to practise.

Random fact: "Creo" in Spanish means both "I believe" and "I create". Fun when two verbs "interfere" in some of their forms. (It occasionally leads to confusion, as when many people use "lay" for "lie", or "laid" for "lay", in English, which still bugs me a little, and has made me unsure after hearing the form I consider wrong for so many years; "I lay on the bed all day yesterday" now seems strange to me, for example.)

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