When I first came to Slovakia, I worked as an English teacher for language schools. I was literally learning about my native tongue while preparing for a class. Present perfect tense? What the heck is that?
Seriously, does any native speaker learn these things anymore? In grade 12 English we were still going over capitals and periods. After twelve years, you’d have thought we would know it by then.
As soon as I read about what something was and when we used it, it would make sense. The present perfect tense, for example, is the verb have/has + past participle (I didn’t know what that was either). E.g. He has been a good boy. She has traveled around the world.
There are reasons why we use it, but this is not a lesson on the present perfect tense. And, to be honest, I haven’t taught grammar for a while and forget some of this stuff.
Anyway, I was an English teacher and I remember getting my first written assignments back from my students. It was in English, but I couldn’t read it.
The handwriting style that Slovaks are taught, you see, somewhat differs from what I learned in Canada. Take the letter in the top photo, for example. Any guesses as to what letter that is? (The mark on the top right is an accent mark.)
It’s a t. And the capital S? Looks like someone didn’t finish writing an L to me. Little p is left open. O’s and A’s are more angular than I was taught.
Handwriting is one of those cultural differences that we don’t really think of until we can’t read a letter. Although, I suppose, handwriting is a dying skill due to the use of computers. But my daughter still learned it in first grade. She was slightly hampered in her homework, though, as she was supposed to copy some of my writing, but we made do.
Here, for your enjoyment, is the whole Slovak alphabet.
Did you guess the letter T?