Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation, originally uploaded by beuk.

Don’t they look great? We went to the ballet last night which was a cap on

a very strange day. I knew something had to be up when B was watching

“Lost in Translation” on HBO in the morning. Call it fore shadowing. Here

is a sampling of the language goofs experienced today:

1.) I had to speak to the Ayi about several topics (payment, a headshot for

the office, broken dryer, don’t cook tonight, Frankie’s pickup, etc…) all

in Chinese of course. I thought I was doing well on all the topics except

the payment part. She seemed confused. Monday was one month since she

started so, we owed her for 4 weeks of work. I kept trying to say that if

she gave me a receipt I would give her the money. Well, I went to my

Chinese class that afternoon and found that what I actually said to the Ayi

was, “I buy you. You have receipt tomorrow, and I buy you”. Yeah, not what

I was going for, but I got my receipt this morning… Moral of that story?

Go to class first!

2.) We all meet to go to the ballet. I tell my Ayi story. Karla tells us a

story of her brother asking how far to a place and his mother saying, “qu

ma” meaning ‘at least’, but when the words are not taken together it means

‘by horse’. Karla’s brother wanted to know by car, not by horse…

Oops..gotta keep practicing.

3.) Mathias (the German) is fast becoming familiar with American phrases.

We all think that he will return to Germany from China with better English

skills then Chinese. B has introduced him to: “fabulous”,

“monstrous”, “hoot-n-nanny”, and “he’s a trip”. Mathias’ phrase of the

day?: “Smack my ass”…I’m sorry Germany.


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