s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: Sweden!

Sunday, April 22, 2007


For those who haven’t heard, Melyngoch has been called to the Sweden, Stockholm mission. (So I guess that makes her Sister Melyngoch, come July.)

All day Thursday and Friday I was texting and emailing her to see if she’d gotten the envelope yet or if she’d opened it. I wanted to tell people at work that my best friend was waiting for her mission call, but I wasn’t in the mood to explain what a mission call is or how the whole process works. (Mel’s roommates were quite surprised to find out that you don’t get to pick where you go, for instance.)

So, for those of you who don’t know, it is a Mormon tradition that the missionary’s best friend also has to learn the mission language. OK, not really, but I tend to suffer from serious language envy, so we agreed that I’d learn whatever language she ended up learning. (Or if she went English-speaking, I would learn Old English. And if she went Cantonese-speaking, I would brush up on my Welsh, because I refuse to learn Cantonese. It’s hard.)

Since she’s been planning on going for a mission for a while, we’ve had a lot of time to speculate about where she might go. You don’t get to pick where you go, but the mission office does take some things, such as linguistic experience, into account. (A friend of mine spoke fluent Mandarin because his family had lived in Taiwan when he was in high school. He and his younger brother both went—surprise!—back to Taiwan. Of course, my cousin who tried to teach himself Swahili so he’d be sent to Kenya ended up serving in Uruguay. C’est la vie.)

We were sort of assuming she’d go Russian- or Slavic-speaking, given her two years of college Russian (со мной), but I think we can live with Swedish, especially since Melyngoch wanted to learn Old Norse at some point. (That girl has an obsession with dead languages. Necrolinguiphilia?)

Anyway, the country that brought us Swedish fish, the Swedish chef, and my great-grandmother can’t be all that bad. Off to learn Swedish!


At April 22, 2007 11:26 PM, Blogger Melyngoch said...

Sweden! Orange scarves will abound.

And Swedish has only two cases, but also a hotly-contested palatal/velar voiceless friactive that may or may not have two points of articulation depending whom you ask, and that adorable tendency to spell things with a "k" so you have the "imperfekt" tense and such.

(And that's not even starting on the Sagas.)

At April 23, 2007 12:12 PM, Blogger Tolkien Boy said...

Actually, you could start on the Sagas and maybe be done by the time of Melyngoch's triumphal return.

Oh, and I give you mad, mad, and more mad points for "necrolingophila."

At April 23, 2007 5:11 PM, Blogger Katya said...

Sweet! Tolkien Boy points! Are they redeemable at my nearest participating Tolkien Boy?

At April 23, 2007 5:19 PM, Blogger Whistler said...

Necrolingophila cracked me up too. :-)


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