Last week before German class I found myself dreaming about asking my Finnish teacher about the 15 Finnish case systems. I don't even have a Finnish teacher - but there are 15 Finnish case systems, more or less*, so my dream was not completely lying. As a result, I found myself before the German class engaged in the productive activity of researching Finnish declination. Due to the ludicrously high number of grammatical cases in Finnish, as you can imagine, it was a rich and productive and fertile activity.
This week, German class being on tonight, what did I find myself dreaming about last night but Swedish grammar. What is it with my mind and the Far North? I was in fact deeply involved in a dream conversation with the Baron about it all, and even managed to discover a completely new item of grammar: 'unstoppables'. Linguists may quibble and argue that such items do not exist at all, but in my dream we were quite sure about it. Here's how my dream conversation went down:
ME: So, how about after I finish learning German I learn the other Germanic languages Swedish and Norwegian and Icelandic and become an expert in the languages of the far north?
BARON: Swedish is a hard language to translate into English, though.
ME: Oh? Why's that?
BARON: It's because of the unstoppable. The Swedish unstoppable is different to the English unstoppable.
ME: How's that?
BARON: Oh, well, it's - you see.... it just is.
ME: What is an unstoppable, anyway?
BARON: It's kind of hard to define.
ME: Hm. Can you give me an example of an unstoppable.
BARON: I.... um.... well...
And there the conversation stopped (maybe because we'd forgotten to include an English unstoppable). I however remained convinced that a great and hitherto unrevealed point about world grammar lay just beyond my grasp.
As you can imagine, I'm really looking forward to my dream before next German class. Maybe, having previously invented a Finnish teacher and a new item of Swedish and English grammar, next time I'll invent a whole new language. Who knows? By the way, this blog is apparently my dream journal now. Please notify your local Freudian.
*It depends who you ask. Personally, I think, as a democratic modern language Finnish should remodify its case system so there is one case for every new Finnish speaker. That way nobody feels like they're missing out on anything. I shall be forwarding this proposal to Helsinki University shortly.
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