Things would be going very badly if that was the case
Mon Sep 18, 2017 22:10

Oh. She was Alaskan. So, technically, Tatiana was not an international student. Luckily, she didn’t seem to mind his error. He felt he was very fortunate not to be pulled up on that one or to have caused offence. Although she still primarily regarded herself as Chinese, ‘Je suis une citoyenne Canadienne,’ and the attendant withering glare, was one of the first elements of French his mother had mastered. It was such a delicate subject to navigate though - he deliberately avoided the term ‘second language’ because for all he knew, Tatiana regarded it as her first, and because he himself had more than two and found the idea of having to rank them incredibly difficult. If pushed, he thought he would put English in third place, although he suspected his proficiency in it was at least equal to, if not better than, his Chinese. As his mother’s French had improved, as he’d spent more time in school, Chinese was something that special time had to be carved out for. It was, however, more firmly a part of who he was. English was an accident that had arisen because the circumstances demanded it. It would be so hurtful to his mother and to his own sense of self were he to somehow elevate English above Chinese. Language ordering, like immigration status, was not therefore a clean, cut and dry area of sensible fact and objective measure.

“Très bien!” he complimented, when Tatiana uttered a few words in slightly dubious French, his face lighting up at hearing it. “It is better anyway than my Russian,” he added. He knew exactly zero words of Russian, whereas Tatiana had composed a passable sentence which at least conveyed her meaning. “Maybe we can teach each other? I already have Jehan volunteer for French class in exchange for English.” That was an entirely sane suggestion. Of course learning a new language from scratch, whilst trying to operate in his non-native language, and learn a lot of new academic material, was entirely what his brain needed. He was glad that Vlad seemed easy going. He was going to need a place where he could just sprawl out and be a comatose mess.

“Colour…” he mused, returning to his notes. “Colour can be the same. But what about this?” he traced the lines that made an embossed pattern on the cowboy boots. “It will look strange on rain boot. But is more… design? It is not a colour but also not the shape.” He added his own subheading under colour to note that he would have to get rid of the design. Reviewing his notes, he saw that he needed to smooth out a few things regarding the shape but mostly it was just the material.

He muttered the spell to himself a couple of times, trying to make sure it could roll off his tongue smoothly. His accent shaped it a little differently than Professor Skies had said it but not enough, he thought, to be a problem. He pictured the changes to the boots, them growing and expanding around the toes and the tops to fill in the shape, and turning rubbery in their appearance. Behind him the balloons squeaked intrusively.

“Brasilenius,” he cast. The surface of the boots turned a little more rubbery, although it looked rather too thin. The toes also filled out. They actually looked quite good. But then they kept going. They expanded too far, and he realised what the thin rubber he’d created reminded him of... He clasped his hands over his ears just in time as the toes of the boots popped.

“I… I guess I get distracted,” he mumbled, glaring at the balloons which continued to squeak.

  • It would be bad if glitter made you jittery.Tatiana, Mon Sep 18 11:01
    Wearing. Tatiana had forgotten that word. Ruefully, however, she realized she probably would have remembered it had she not been thinking the wrong way about the question – she had thought that was... more
    • Things would be going very badly if that was the case — Dorian, Mon Sep 18 22:10
      • Good thing it doesn't seem to be, then.Tatiana, Wed Sep 20 20:47
        Tatiana had never managed to get the hang of French even with true teachers, but her eyes lit up at the idea of a language exchange with Dorian and Jehan just the same. That would, she reasoned, be... more
        • “I’m sure,” Dorian nodded, when she asked if Jehan would help her too. He thought that the Club of Tongues might take a different direction than his and Jehan’s previous plans to read poetry together ... more
          • How could they not?Tatiana, Fri Sep 22 11:24
            Tatiana nodded in sympathy when Dorian mentioned that all the English gave him a headache sometimes. “Me, too,” said Tatiana. “Not as bad as first – then it sounds like many chickens!” she laughed,... more
            • It does go everywhere...Dorian, Sat Sep 30 00:43
              “Yes!” he laughed, when Tatiana compared the simultaneous cacophony of English speakers to chickens. “It is so much when many people speak it at one time. At home, maybe two people at one time, and... more
              • Tatiana nodded to the description of Jehan. “Yes,” she agreed. “He seems so.” If Tatiana understood the rest of Dorian’s speech properly, he was saying that at his home, they switched languages all... more
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