Linguistic note

I asked my Slovenian assistant to have a go at translating an article in Bulgarian for me. She balked at first because it was in the wrong alphabet, but I persuaded her that if she transcribed it longhand, and as long as she remembered that ъ is a vowel, she would probably be able to understand it.

About a quarter of the way in, she said to me suspiciously, “They seem very fond of ending their words with -то.”

“It means ‘the’,” I explained. Her native Slovenian, like most Slavic languages, doesn’t have a word for “the”.

“As a suffix???”


As it turned out it wasn’t that interesting an article but I hope it was useful experience for her.

She’s left me now, off to a job in London where they will actually pay her, and I’m off for my Christmas holidays too.

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