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Pétaouchnock

Vocabulary and Pronunciation

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Much of the vocabulary will be recognizable to you speakers of Latin languages and Germanic languages. For example the word for three is troi derived from the Sanskrit tri (clear similarities with trois, tres, tre three and drei). Hence the word troika originally meaning a three wheeled car is now the generic term for car.

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Pronunciation

The accent is more guttural, more akin to Russian or Slavonic languages or indeed Portuguese.
However in comparison to English, it is very easy to pronounce – each syllable being pronounced as it is written.

For us in the 21st century many of the expressions may seem over-formal and even archaic but you will come to understand that they are an intrinsic part of the culture.
For example before setting off on a journey you may well hear: “Pernestuk troika rulna mal”
literally translated – may you car never run badly - or more simply Bon voyage!
(Also see section on local drinks for traditional toast)

Anyway before you all start thinking that this sounds too much like a language lesson and you wish you had remained “chez vous” let me finish with a little poem to illustrate just how easy our language is to learn and you will be asking for a visa to be “chez nous!”:

Our language is really very easy to master

No irregular verbs – in English, now there’s a disaster!

Words like brought and taught and threw and sing

And sink and drank and forgot and fling

No phrasal verbs to trip you up

No problems with coming and going down or up!

And if you’re at home, you’re in your house, that’s very true

And if you’re at home in my house then that’s fine too!

No Petaouchnockois has no such traps so don’t be scared

Go on, have a try - you’ll be glad that you dared!

And listen carefully and repeat after me:

Pernespik nosotros mal denie!
(May we never talk badly of each other – may we always be friends)

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