So, with our hippy, grungy, laid-back, hilarious German visitor finally gone, I no longer have to translate every explanation into English as I compose it. A sub-mentalized echo remains (… ein untergedankene Anklang bleibt noch….) but I await counselling, so that I can return to being (for all practical purposes) a monoglot. In the section on nationalities in Learn Finnish, everyone except the Brit is polylingual, and I see no reason to be the nail stood proud.
At one point we were indicating to our gemeinsame Freund the yellow signs on an electrical substation, with a writhing man and a big lightning bolt. Grinning and nodding, he said: “oh, ja, the electrodance, is sehr cool, ja?” I can’t tell whether you have to know him for that to be funny. We also discovered the international language of tapping your head and saying “nuh-uh-uh-urr”, for when the word verhindert just won’t do. Of course, you can’t say verhindert these days. Or Lebensraum. Or Verkehrsmittelgesellschaft, but then I’ve never been able to get to the end of that one.