Friday, July 18, 2008

The Eskimo "K"

A 19th century Oblate missionary and frontiersman among the Eskimo of the Labrador coast, one Fr. Lacasse, gave this description of the Eskimo "k" or "kh" sound:

"Learning to pronounce the k would give you a sore throat. You have to fetch up a sound from the pit of the stomach, arrest it as it passes through the throat, hurl it violently into the nose, then, in spite of your repugnance, and in spite of all the laws of motion, you must bring it back into the throat, there to receive its death-stroke."

From Mid Snow and Ice, p. 159, Rev. Fr. Pierre Douchaussois, O.M.I.


Janet said...

Hey Sean,

I have to know if the book that this came from is as entertaining as this excerpt.
Thanks for the laugh.:)

Sean said...

The excerpt is actually not typical of the whole (which is fascinating reading, for the record).