Saturday, August 29, 2009

Prija and Prika

Ok, after 8 years, I am still learning this language... and here is a little story to show this:
On Thursday I was at the orphanage to have a meeting with the director and some of the carers. Afterwards I was driving "Teta Duska", one of the carers, home. I was explaining to her where I lived and she said "oh that is near where my 'prija' lives".

At that, I realised that "prija" was the word for "mother of my son-in-law". Yip, they have a name for the "mother of my son-in-law": 'prija' and "father of my son-in-law": 'prika'. Now, how had I figured that out so quickly? Because my landlady has a daughter who is married, and thus a "son-in-law". And I thought that his parents' names were "Prija" and "Prika" as that is what my landlady calls them! I thought it was their NAMES! And I just thought it was cute that they had found each other (like Chris and Christine)! But, with Duska saying my "prija", I realised that it couldn't be her name, but instead must be the word for the "mother of my son-in-law"... oh boy!

But, it just goes to show the importance that family plays in this culture, as they have names for everyone in the family and the different nuances of relationship... they have 3 words for uncle depending on if it is your mother's brother or father's brother or married to your mother or brother's sister... and the same for aunt, etc... And 4 types of sister-in-law: your wife's sister, your husband's sister and then back the other way: all have different names!! yip!

So, I think it is not really surprising that I thought "Prija" and "Prika" were people's names: how am I supposed to know otherwise???


Shilo said...

I LOVE that story! Too fun.

Deb McConnell said...

I am glad that I am not alone in my silliness sometimes :-) Even the translator gets confused occasionally. Love you Bee Bee

Anonymous said...

It's not so much the local language having the words, but the English language missing the words. ;)

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