My language skill set consists of English. I hear evocative sounds in other languages but don’t comprehend their meaning. This is why I can’t remember the name of my neighbor’s dog, who is about four years old now.
I have known and liked him for that long, since he arrived next door in his owner’s arms, something akin to a squishy football with appendages. I asked his name not once but three times. It was clear to me it was a name of deep tribal significance in some culture somewhere; but what I heard sounded like “So What” or “Sack Cloth” or “Sea Wart.”
These didn’t suit him at all so I punted and called him ‘Puppy the Dog.”
I still do. He now is almost my height. He is fond of ballasting himself with his paws on my shoulders so we can greet each other eye to eye.
I could be wrong but when I call him “Puppy the Dog,” I detect in his expression that he is still waiting for me to smarten up.