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I was talking to one of my Norwegian cousins the other day. Her English, like that of all my Norwegian relatives, is shamingly good, but we discovered that she didn’t know the word “pancreas”. I reached for my English-Norwegian dictionary, but the word isn’t there—it jumps straight from “pancake” to “panda”.

Should any Norwegian dictionary compilers find themselves reading this, I have a heartfelt question: of those three words, which is the one statistically most likely to prove necessary in an emergency?


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 11th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC)
I have never heard anyone say "ooh, me pancreas is playing up". Whereas I have heard people say "I'd like a pancake" or "my panda is refusing to breed".
Sep. 11th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
I bet you don't know anyone with a panda, and just made that up.
Sep. 11th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC)
My next door neighbour has two of them. He even lets them in the house.
Sep. 11th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
This statement has triggered my middle-class inadequacy gene, and I am now compelled to obtain a pair of breeding white tigers.
Sep. 11th, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)
They are a pest though, they eat all the bamboo in my garden, and frighten my koala.
Sep. 11th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
You need to have a word with that koala and boost its self-esteem. A koala could totally take a panda, given koalas' legendary skill in unarmed wombat.

Sep. 16th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC)
Sep. 16th, 2008 12:56 pm (UTC)
Oh go on, you loved it.
Sep. 11th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
The word you are looking for is bukspyttkjertel.
Sep. 11th, 2008 02:00 pm (UTC)
(I just did a search on google for "norwegian for pancreas"--I am not a native Norwegian speaker, though I can see how you might have been confused.)
Sep. 11th, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
Presumably this relative knew the Norwegian word, or is this actually a failing of the Norwegian education system?

In any case, I submit 'pancake' is the most useful word in an emergency. Emergencies requiring immediate application of a pancake are statistically far more common in my life.
Sep. 11th, 2008 02:04 pm (UTC)
Well, obviously "pancake" is the most important word.

Whereas "panda" should simply be struck from both the dictionary and the face of god's green earth, for the crime of general ineptitude.
Sep. 11th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
Norwegians don't have a spleen either. Fact.
Sep. 11th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
I've never had a problem with my pancreas or pandas, as they are generally contained in zoos, not raging across the Pacific Northwest.

I have, however, had many, many pancake emergencies in the course of my life. I have had emergency needs for pancakes at 2am after the bars close. I have desperately needed to make pancakes to feed hordes of clamoring children the morning after a slumber party. And I have had the heartbreaking emergency of trying to make pancakes that burned, stuck to the pan, or otherwise failed in epic fashion.

Perhaps this isn't everyone's experience, but I offer it as one example for your discussion.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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