Friday, March 03, 2006

Language Barriers

We have a few international students in my class, and have discovered that sometimes American colloquialisms don't quite translate in another language. For example, a Ukranian guy named Sergiy was wearing a shirt a couple of days ago that was what I think of as a beach volleyball shirt - a sleeveless t-shirt. You can definitely tell that Serg works out, and as we were about to go into class, my friend Caleb joked "Hey Serg...I don't think they'll let you bring guns into class here!" Serg, not understanding the joke said, very seriously "I bet they wouldn't allow rockets either."

On the other hand, some phrases are used throughout the world equally. One of my friends, Jaime, bought a Hummer H2 (we're all still in shock!). The first night he showed it to most people was at Doug's Goat Roast. Everyone was talking about it and someone asked a German international student, Julian, what he thought of it. Julian said (and its best if you imagine a nice, thick German accent as you read this) "In my country, we have a saying....that if a man buys a big car....(and now Julian turns bright red and gets embarrassed)...he is probably making up for being very little...somewhere...else...." We all started cracking up and Doug said "Yeah Julian, we have that saying here too."

Oh the fun of language translations!

1 comment:

Ty said...

Trey and I once discussed the Freudian significance of monster trucks. When I hear the driver of a large vehicle rev his engine, I often comment on the mating call of the Red-Necked Small-Weenie.