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Friday’s Friendly Funny: Lost in translation

Friday’s Friendly Funny by Dave Blazek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
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  1. The first night that we went out to eat in Paris I busted out my rusty high school French. After finishing my meal I told the waitress, “Je suis complete!” My intention was to indicate that I was full/satisfied. She laughed and told me in English that that means I have no vacancy (how a hotel would express it). Oh well. She got the idea!

  2. gomh/

    I spent a lot of time, solo traveling in China. I traveled in many places that rarely saw tourists. That made it very important to learn some Mandarin – of course such important phrases as “where is the toilet” and “how much is that” and “that’s too much” – but most important, I learned to say I was a vegetarian – a good idea in areas of the world where meat content can be unfamiliar or even downright scary. I was proud of that accomplishment, and used the phrase whenever, and however meals became available. The person hearing this might look a little confused for a moment, but then the light would come on and they brought vegetarian food. At home again, I enrolled in a Chinese language course at the local university, and in responding to the request to tell the professor what Chinese I already knew, she had a good laugh – apparently, instead of saying “I am a vegetarian” (or I eat vegetables) I was saying “I am a vegetable”.


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