Art is almost always harmless and good, it only wants an illusion.
Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist 1856-1939
Sisters Esther and Linda write columns on the four languages spoken in the ABC Islands. The special thing about the column is that a fifth language is integrated into the column. So it is not only Dutch, English, Spanish and Papiamento, but also deaf sign language. Esther works as a sign language interpreter, while Linda studies in Dutch and English and speaks Spanish well. The reason for writing them is that it is very special to speak at least four languages on the islands†
Hello my sister,
Do you remember that drawing from the back the day you saw the face of a young woman and if you looked at it from another point of view you became an old woman? The first time I found it great! Or Escher’s drawings in which I lost track with dizzying speed, because I never understood where the stairs began and ended. Oh yeah, and do you remember the one on Freud’s face in which you could see a naked woman?
I was thinking about those visual jokes today when I was listening to the radio this morning. Now you might be thinking: What does music have to do with illusion? I thought so. If an optical illusion exists, then an auditory illusion also exists, of course, despite the fact that it’s not an existing word. But there’s really no need for a new word, because we have Mama’s apple smoothies thanks to Michael Jackson’s Wanna Be Startin ‘Somethin’. He sings: “mama say mama sa mama macusa” but you hear: “mama se mama sa mama apple juice.” The internet is full of the funniest, weirdest, and dirtiest apple juice, but the best for me is that Dutch phrase in a song by singer Rihanna, advertising a Dutch department store. “Fish in Hima”. I think it’s awesome!
I am curious to see if there are also psychoacoustic phenomena of this kind in Dutch, Spanish and Papiamento that tempt our ears. do you know them?
Hello my sister,
Yay, hear deception, good word! I thought so can by me love The Beatles were all about food. I sang: “Praise of Ken Bami” because…
Well, less than 2 days ago I tried live apple juice! I was standing at the bar in the café and a man next to me asked for a glass of Coke. The waiter put down a bottle of Polar and drank it without comment. Well I thought, is that weird? As a Coke addict, of course it shouldn’t happen to me, so I went for a story. Apparently the man in question said “Pollarte”. I do not understand! It looks almost the same and in the dictionary in my head there is no polarity. Not least because I don’t drink alcohol so I quickly hear my drink. Add to that Dutch shorthand with -tje at the end of the word and there you have the Appelsap map! Sorry cola.
I went to ask around the island. And you know what I’ve discovered so far? There aren’t many Mama Apple juices here in English, Spanish and Papiamento. But why in Dutch? And after my little research, I have a theory about that.
The Dutch hear music in all languages. This is in the culture. French songs, German, English comics, it all flows into our ears at lightning speed. So we already have a cupboard with dictionaries in our heads. You’ll grab it right fast. What do you do if you have to fast? Well, then you are using your native language. So if you’re not good at French, you’ll hear Patrick Bruel sing, “She sells turnips, picks up shampoo.” While he really sings this:
Se faire prendre pour un par des gens qu’on déteste† I can sing it in French as hard as she can!
But back in Bonaire, what about Papiamento and Mama Apple juices? Is there any? So I haven’t really been able to find it well yet, while I think it’s rife with talbora or language confusions!
When we first got to the island, I already got one on day one!
Someone said very gently, “Kombay?” against me. I answered accurately “Bon”, you know, but I thought “Come on, where”? I didn’t know it was a contraction of ‘kon ta ba’i’… 😊 and yesterday my Spanish colleague spoke on Whatsapp: laga mi sa† (let me know) and I heard “la camisa” (the shirt).
I think there is still a lot to discover about it. I’ll continue my research, so anyone with nice stories about misunderstandings in Papiamento, let us know!
Oh yeah, I picked the picture of the day well, but I hope she comes back soon because I miss her graphics!