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yes, you understood me correctly

i figured it had been a while since i gave an update on my progress with language learning. it's gone from being something i wanted to try, but lacked the means and time, to something i had put my mind to, to something that's become a conduit to all sorts of different discoveries, not just about languages, but about people and history. it's also become the thing i do when i feel like my anxieties are getting the better of me, because its methodical nature and self-controlled pace help me focus on something other than the fact that every synapse in my brain has suddenly decided to dump its cache in my think hole.

as you might remember, however, i occasionally get the feeling that duolingo, my preferred place for free online language learning, is preparing me for a rather strange life in other countries. [see here and here.] so here's another edition of "things i really must work into a conversation".

you might recall that last time, i was learning the important skill of acquiring a rhinoceros in dutch. now i'm happy to say that i've upped my negotiation game:

always best to start small

as you can see, i'm learning to work my way up to the rhinoceros. once i've established myself as a reliable sheep customer, a rhinoceros will just be the next logical step.

and if anyone asks me why i need these small sheep, i do have an answer for them, although, unfortunately, i'd have to switch to german to give it.

who else will protect me from vampire butterflies?
i also have some honed bargaining skills in welsh [because who is more likely to have a sheep than a welshman?]

they're all the fashion this year

i could also give the welshman suggestions of where he might find the rhinoceros, which is my ultimate goal:

making language great again

but if i'm confusing a poor dutch buyer with all this talk, i could just fall back on one the oldest bargaining chips a woman has in her arsenal: subtle flirting

would you like to count the pieces?

in a more general way, i'm kind of convinced that the entire swedish course is useful primarily for when you're out in the scandinavian woods, drinking to the point of hallucination:

we've all reached that point at least once
it's undercooked. abort and order pizza

sometimes, i'm worried that little duo, the magical language owl, is actually out to make me seem a bit of a thicky.


alternate translation: i failed math

or that he's getting me to spend time on things that aren't really necessary.


did you think i wouldn't notice??

but there are a number of things that i probably am going to be very useful to me...

you'd better hand me the pills

i am thrilled that i will be able to discuss my weltschmerz in polish.

then there's this little gem, which i'll pull out as either a teaser or a warning:

from "italian for mobsters"

i'll clarify who and where the first victim is a little later...

i do think that this one will be very practical, when i want to offer some criticism at a show, but don't want to hurt anyone's feelings:


this has been an issue 

even better, i know how to switch out the pronoun, so i'm not limited to criticising boys.

but, given the situation post-brexit and the bizarre downward spiral into which the united kingdom has flushed itself, i think that i will have the opportunity to use this one quite frequently:




so as you can see, i'm making a lot of linguistic progress. pretty soon, you won't have any idea what i'm saying [as opposed to just not having any idea why i'm saying it]. and eventually, i will have that rhinoceros.

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jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

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