Wednesday, 13 July 2011
Word association and heat
When I first met Mr A his English was very limited. It's now pretty much fluent. OK we have a few laughs at his misinterpretation of certain words at times...and he often "invents" English words. For example if he is looking around an area he refers to it as "rounding". And he still calls toes "feet fingers". His English is so good that he actually dreams in English....I know this because he occasionally talks in his sleep...and it's often in English!
He has also grasped an understanding of several other languages as a result of chatting to tourists..his German is now pretty good too.
And here I am, 13 years in this country, and I still have problems communicating. I have a fairly extensive vocabulary. I just can't put all the words together in sentences which would enable me to have a proper conversation with anyone.
I do so envy those people who absorb a foreign language so easily...it's a gift isn't it? It's not that I haven't tried. I've had lessons in the past, I've bought lots of "teach yourself Turkish" books and dictionaries but I'm still struggling. Still just getting by.
It occurred to me yesterday that the way I remember certain words is by using word association. I must do it subconsciously most of the time, because it was only as I was struggling to recall the Turkish word for label that I realised I was doing it. "label" in Turkish is "etiket". How did I eventually remember it? Don't laugh please! Etiket sounds like etiquette. I had a picture in my mind of Hyacinth Bucket (the expert on etiquette) in the opening credits of Keeping Up Appearances where she is setting out place names at her dining table. So....etiquette...place names...labels...etiket. Get it?
Well it works for me! BUT if any of you out there also struggle with languages and have any other useful tips for me, they would be most welcome!
I don't know why, after all these years here, that July and August and the intense heat of these months, always comes as a shock. The temperatures are now in the high 30s and getting hotter. I'm confined to the bedroom for most of the day as it's (only slightly) cooler than the rest of the house. I don't use the aircon in the sitting room because, having cooled down and then having to move to another room or venture outside, the sudden difference in temperature actually makes me feel faint and physically sick.
The dogs have settled for the bedroom too, and it's a real effort to get them outside.
I only go outside to move the hose pipe around early morning and early evening. We have it set on a constant dribble, so each tree gets 12 hours. This seems to be working well as all the trees are looking very healthy. There are huge amounts of grapes on the vine, which should be ready soon. And we will have bumper crops of figs and pomegrantes this year.
I'm finding it extremely difficult to venture down to the village to pick up bread and other daily essentials, because the climb back up the hill in this heat nearly kills me. Mr A pops home every few days and brings supplies with him, which keep me going. But every so often I really need to get into Milas to do a big shop. He managed to get home yesterday for a few hours, around 4.30pm, so we set off for Milas. It was an opportunity to check my postbox and post some letters at the post office, and then hit the supermarket. You would be amazed at the amount of shopping the two of us manage to carry on the motorbike. It's a bit dangerous really, but this is Turkey, and you will often see an entire family...mum, dad and a couple of chiildren squashed onto a motorbike, so the two of us and half a dozen bags of shopping is quite normal.
I'm getting up around 5am most days, particularly if I need to clean the house. Around 6am it's possible to sit outside with a coffee, but by 7am it's just too hot...so it's back to the bedroom.
Roll on winter!