16.9.07

thanks, babel

I've had more and more conversations where I've been forced to speak only the local language, no matter if what I'm discussing is something I know vocabulary for. And of course this leads to some pretty funny and embarrassing mishaps!

First, a couple of weeks ago, Kishori and Bhanu were over for lunch. We all speak English except for Kishori, but I like to speak what I can in her language so she feels included. That particular day, husband had a bit of the tummy troubles. Stomach is
payt, and I knew that well because we have to explain to nationals a lot that we have weak stomachs and so we can't drink the water. Anyway, husband was eating very lightly, so I explained to them that his stomach was messed up. For some reason I said paat instead of payt. I corrected myself, but Kishori and Ashu were suppressing some giggles. Husband noticed and said, "Paat must mean something. What did she say?" Bhanu replied, and this is a direct quote, "It means fart."

Last week, once again I was with Kishori, this time at her weekly ladies group gathering. I was chatting with a young lady, and decided what the heck, I'll try to
tell her my story in her language. This may seem impressive, but I memorized it awhile back, so it wasn't like I was coming up with it all on my own. She listened and enjoyed it, so feeling rather confident, I decided to go ahead and just tell her the great news as well. I've never tried this before, but I had a picture tool with me, so I thought it might be easy. I made it a little ways without a problem until I got to the part of being buried in the grave. I realized that I didn't know how to say grave, bury, tomb, or any other words relatively close! The picture showed a big stone and a very Roman-looking guard standing by it. So I pointed and said the only words I could think of, "There was a big rock, and the police."

5 comments:

SouthAsiaRocks said...

haha language fun! You've gotta love it!

jrob said...

Nice Roman guard

Deanna said...

Great story! How bout some more language stories or cultural things?

Dana said...

Can I just say that I love thos stories! I can definately relate to the whole language thing. Though right now I am still trying to use my survival Russian. So I usually mess up my ordering of food. I definately ordered liver the other day when I thought I ordered chicken. Not fun!

I'm glad you can relate to the cold. But I have a feeling this is only the beginning! When is baby due?!

valerie. said...

i hope your husband can get over his farting trouble very soon :) this is a good one!