Glad we're on the same page.
Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:40

Katya listened closely, glad for relatively short, straightforward sentences in German as well as English, and then shook her head. “No,” she said, also in German. “I do not go to Germany. Mama war – eine Mӓdchen.” She wasn’t totally sure that it was the correct word, because Mama had not been a very small girl at the time, but she had not been married then either. ‘A girl’ was close enough, describing that it had been a long time since Mama had spent time in Germany.

She was highly occupied with feeling proud of herself for carrying on a conversation in passable German (she’d be amazed if Julius Astley could carry on a coherent conversation in anything – including English, ostensibly his everyday language), but not so much that she did not notice that at one point her new friend had been smiling and that now he was not, and sounded wary. She filed away this observation, needing her concentration to not speak some bizarre hybrid of two languages at once, one of them most likely Russian and therefore not one she thought it was reasonable to expect a German to understand. Germany and Russia had a long, complicated historical relationship, but overall, she thought there were more Russians who spoke some German than Germans who spoke Russian.

“Es ist möglich, dass Mama immer hat Freundins,” she said slowly, then immediately realized she had almost certainly made two mistakes – one in scrambling German and English pluralization and another in where she’d put that last verb. She flushed slightly, hoping it’s possible that Mama still has friends was comprehensible. “Mama likes Europe, but Papa is in Alaska, so we live there, and I come here. Once I went to St. Petersburg,” she added, lest she seem too provincial. Sometimes she feared that all the languages in the world wouldn’t be enough to ever allow her to claim sophistication. She had seen how the girls in St. Petersburg laughed behind their hands at Anya…. “You have friends in many places?” she asked.

  • Oh, I am with you there!Heinrich, Wed Oct 3 15:03
    German! She spoke German! Not perfectly, it was clear, but enough! Enough that it would have immediately gotten her an invitation to the ball last year, enough that his eyes widened in surprise and... more
    • Glad we're on the same page. — Katerina, Wed Oct 10 11:40
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