Seeing then that words are oft times mispronounced, misheard, misunderstood, or mistaken for other words, even among natives of the mother tongue, is it any wonder then that foreigners to the tongue arrive at unforeseeable difficulties and, more appropriately, adapt to its nuances, perhaps even adopting some of the idiosyncrasies associated with other learners of the language. There’s safety in numbers so they say.
Has this ever been truly hammered out in diplomacy? Have studies been undertaken to the degree that there is no possibility that some trade deals have collapsed not because of stubbornness or foolhardiness but rather because of mere misinterpretation? Not just that old claptrappery of lost in translation but rather just lost, full stop. For want of a word the kingdom was lost.
But now that’s another thing: where we see the division is not always where it should be, even if it makes sense. King-dom is clear even if in these nomenclatural times the UQ would be more appropriate , or is that already so 20th century! The United Gender-non-specific-dom? Too much even in these effervescent times? Yet it’s the words that can be broken up differently and still contain meaning; these are the ones that can lead to new perspectives the point of view of the native speakers. Others hold the same sound in the target language but often with quite different definitions.
© The Hairy Teacher, March, 2018