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."


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!