I’m French and I write in English – I make mistakes and I discover new words everyday.
When I read an article or a short story, I understand what happens, and I admit I don’t translate anymore.
But, well, I always meet new insects, which are really puzzling at times…
Today I met “Vial“. Never seen this word but I guessed. A little bottle. In French we call this “une fiole”, which I find funny. Same structure : vial/fiole. OK.
“Stoop” was trickier. First, it’s a noun AND a verb. A doorstep (“perron”, in French), and also “to bend”.
There, here am I questioning English Gods : why do you have to stoop, if you have to bend or even to bow?? Can stoop be replaced by to crouch or to squat?
Worse : as a metaphor or a figurative sense, to demean, to do something “below one’s status, standards, or morals”. “S’abaisser à”.
OK, but also to slant (to stoop a bottle of wine?) – then what is to lean? – to catch a prey for an eagle (“the bird stooped and seized a salmon” – un piqué), to submit (“stooped by death” or “this people does not stoop to Rome”) – even to degrade?
Thus, when you read “not your language”, you see holes. Little ones can be filled by contexts, other ones make you make a face, pick a dictionary, and go travel in language, in an awe, for twenty minutes. You should try French while I study the word “slew” (4 nouns, 7 verbs, pfff…).
At the end, I found : Stoop : “a vessel for holding liquids; a flagon”. Come on!
Hmmm. Fetch me a stoop of liquor, please. Two new words and I’m done. Back to bed. With my book!
Thanks for reading!