Samuel, who is the church-planter/pastor I am working with here in Uganda likes red licorice. I found this out the other day when I offered him a twist from my personal stash – he really liked it. However, I then discovered that Ugandans struggle to separate r’s and l’s like some other language groups. Up until now, I hadn’t really noticed – I guess Samuel has been avoiding the English words that use those letters.

This provided me a great opportunity for some gentle revenge. I have been trying to learn some Lusoga words, and Samuel taught me a little of his language. However, no matter how I say these words, he tells me that I am pronouncing them incorrectly and no Ugandan will ever know what I’m saying. Even if I pronounce it exactly like he says it, he still says I’m mispronouncing it. So this is a bit of a running joke for him as I suffer along with a hopelessly American-accented ear. The emphasis is very different for me.

However, when he said “licorice” for the first time, hope dawned eternal in my heart! He burst out laughing, and I burst out laughing, and then I said, “I’ve got you now, brother, right where I want you!” So below is a link to the recording I made of Samuel trying to say “licorice.” It’s a timeless piece that I feel I will always treasure…in case you can’t tell, we laugh a lot about all the cultural differences and especially the accent issues. And lest you think I’m being hard on poor Samuel with this recording, just remember that he earned it by being merciless with me about my clumsy American accent…right, Samuel? (I just love playing this recording for him in the car while we’re driving. We almost guffaw ourselves into the ditch every time).

Licorice

Advertisements