"Obscure" is a little strong for Hank Scorpio since they built a whole episode around him, but he has to be my favorite on the list, edging out Bleeding Gums Murphy only because Scorpio is so fleshed out. (Or maybe I've just seen that episode more recently.)
My second favorite would have to be the German corporate exec (Horst, voiced by Phil Hartman) who apologized, "My English is, how you say, inelegant." Around the house, that's our all-purpose remark when we misspeak.
The consonants of my English pronunciation can get a bit too pronounced. And lacking in the right aspiration. Especially when I'm tired.
So hard to speak a 2nd language really well. One never gets it totally right.
That may be, but it's better than my [any other language here].
And, in case you're not familiar with the episode I'm talking about, that's the joke in that Simpsons quote: that many, many people around the globe speak excellent English (often apologetically, as if it is somehow lacking), while so many of us in the U.S. lack fluency in any other language. (Including me, I'm embarrassed to admit. Yet my Polish SIL, whose English is impeccable, often apologizes when she has to reach for exactly the right word.)
And in case we're talking past each other, please allow me to conclude: My ingots are, how you say, inelegant.
Ah. I see what you mean. That's quite funny actually.
Although to be honest: it's really hard to learn foreign languages when there's hardly a need to since your whole continent speaks the same language as you.
Conversely we Dutch speak an obscure language that's incomprehensible to anybody as soon as we drive more than 150 miles.
So speaking English, German and French is a common necessity on holiday. And as a result not that hard.
it's really hard to learn foreign languages when there's hardly a need to since your whole continent speaks the same language as you.
What a smart -- and generous --- way to think of that. I spent my formative years living in areas near borders where specific other languages were useful and common (French in Maine, Spanish in Texas), so it never occurred to me that, yeah, a giant chunk of continent is a big geographical stumbling block to acquiring other languages, especially for people in the center of the continent.
Yes, being able to converse with other people is crucial for fluency, though in my case it wasn't a huge help. In my four years of high school French, I acquired three different accents from four different teachers who claimed to speak --- in chronological order --- Provencal French, Parisian French, and Canadian French. When I can stutter out any French at all these days, I'm practically incomprehensible.
Forgive me. My accents are, how you say, inelegant.