Wednesday, 7 December 2016

There is a mouse

which scampers across Twitter. His name is Minimus...most suitable for a mouse! 
He only speaks Latin but someone provides an English translation - which is just as well. My Latin is terrible. 
I do have some Latin. The Senior Cat once passed me a book called "An intermediate Latin grammar" and told me I was expected to learn it. Amos, amat... mmm. It wasn't actually a love story. I wasn't keen on all the talk about soldiers, spears, shields and other implements of war. I didn't want to know about the battles. 
But Minimus speaks Latin and I try to understand him just as I try to understand people around me who don't speak English as a first language. In our short street there are people who speak one of the many Chinese languages. There is someone who speaks Hungarian, a family who speak Hindi, and a man who speaks German. Our neighbour opposite can get by in French and Italian but her first language is English. Around the corner there is an elderly woman whose first language is Greek. She is losing the ability to speak English, just as Middle Cat's MIL did. 
Yesterday she was outside with a visitor. She waved to me and called out in Greek. I understand the word "come" it sounds as if you are saying "ella". After looking carefully behind me I pedalled across the road. She introduced me - in Greek - to her visitor. Thankfully the visitor, a much younger person, spoke English and interpreted her request. She needed to borrow a "possum trap" and did I know whether anyone had one? (Yes, a possum trap is designed to catch a possum but not kill it.)  I promised to ask the boy around the corner to deliver theirs asap. He will even put it into the best place for her and, when possum is caught, he will take it to school. One of his teachers will take it to a suitable place and release it. He's known for that. 
But I went away thinking that Minimus might actually like the word "possum" because, if I remember correctly, it means "I am able" or "I can"... I rather like it. 


helen devries said...

That was charming.
I have a blogging friend who knows all about Minimus...she lives near Hadrian's Wall, so plenty to park the interest there.

catdownunder said...

He sounds really good fun Helen!

Allison said...

amamus amatis amant And we must have had farmers instead of soldiers - agricola agricolae. And that's about the sum total of what I actively remember. I have just enough lurking beneath the surface to help sometimes with figuring out what a word might mean but not enough to reliably translate those nice quotes one finds in Lord Peter Wimsey (or other books like them).

I do envy your smattering of so many languages. If I can read it, I have asmall chance but my ears just cannot distinguish the difference between so many sounds to be able to interpret the spoken languages.

Minimus sounds adorable. Maybe he could visit the cathedral cats some year?