Now you’re speaking my language…

Posted by - January 8, 2011 | Category: Archives

I can count to 10 in Turkish.  No lie.  And to 5 in Finnish.  I just kept giggling so much that I couldn’t get any further.  Ask your friends from Finland to give you a lesson and you’ll understand.  Lots of ohhh-xsi and cox-si and other fun Muppet sounds. 

I do think that learning a little bit of the local language shows your desire to fit in, and that you respect the local culture.  In return, you tend to get more respect as well, even just for trying.

Belizean Kriol (Creole) though I could not learn one solitary word.  It sort of sounds likes English put through a Caribbean blender. It’s based on English, and speakers can understand English, but it just sounds so…well…foreign.

Exhibit A: When a kid on the beach noticed a lily-white German emerge from the water, the conversation between the two went a little something like this. (I somehow feel the need to count this one in….”And a 1, and a 2….”)

Kid: “Wa dey be pain bayou?”

Powder: “Excuse me?”

Kid: “Wa dey be pain bayou?”

Powder: “I’m sorry, I do not understand.”

Kid (slowly): “Waaa deeey beeee paaaain by youuuuu?”

Woman on beach (laughing hysterically): “He wants to know why there is paint on you because you are so white.  He thinks if he says it slower you will understand.”

Too funny.

In any case, before you head out, I recommend you learn a few language basics.  You probably won’t learn enough to handle the situation just described, but you may be able to at least ask a local what the hell just happened. If you’re looking of language books, try Bookcloseouts.com. They tend to have the cheapest language dictionaries and guidebooks out there.  

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