Tuesday, October 30, 2007

September 19, 1931

Speaking Dutch is more of a challenge than I figured. Unlike English or French, the way Dutch words are spelt greatly affects their pronunciation. All their words altar their spellings significantly in order to make way for different endings. There is also the concept of vowel sounds being determined by closed and open syllables. For example "boom" which means tree drops an "o" and adds an "en" to form "bomen" and thus the plural, trees, is formed. It would be pronounced "bo-men" which is obviously much different from the original "boom." I believe this is why Dutch can sound like English, French, and German, all at once, in natural conversation.

Also on the matter of Dutch, I can't help but think of Professor Loockersmans as a proprietor of some vile speakeasy. Although his appearance is always clean and his stature is of the utmost intelligence, his demeanor seems rank with deception because he is so spare with his words.

Regardless, tonight will be the night I find out. Like some amateur gumshoe I am accompanying Dottie to her "spot." I do not intend to drink but to observe and if Professor Loockersmans is indeed heading the establishment I’m not sure what I’ll do. I don’t think I have the courage to confront him, nor will I have the respect to learn from a criminal. In which case, I will then drop Dutch and wait for German to return next semester.

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