There are many words that I don’t know in Lithuanian. I carry a small pocket dictionary with me, but that too has a limited selection of words. And, I admit, I don’t often look words up except as a last resort. As a result, I am often attempting to explain what I am looking for by using the words that I do know. The conversation frequently goes like this…
Amanda: I am looking for milk that is thick and sweet and in a can.
Sales Clerk: Kondensuotas?
Amanda: (holding a wall outlet as an prop in the home store): I need something to put into this that makes it flat instead of deep.
Sales clerk: Adaptaras?
I swear that I am met with a blank stare every time I try putting a Lithuanian ending on an English word in an attempt to explain what I want. But I feel equally foolish when I go into a long explanation of what I want — and all I needed was the English word with a Lithuanian ending. Fortunately, I have fully excepted that speaking a foreign language requires the willingness to appear foolish. In the end, I am always able to get what I need — and I usually learn a new word in the process, even if it is kondensuotas.