Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Words Can Be Tricky

A few weeks ago, I visited the Frankfurt Book Fair, since it's only 45 minutes north of me--and one of the biggest events of its type in the world. Did I mention BIG? Overwhelming might be a better word.

Anyway, I mainly stuck to the hall for English language publishers, but visited the area for German publishers at one point. Pushing past the crowded masses of stalls with an acquaintance, I asked her, "Do you have any idea how I can find my friend's publisher? She said she'd be at their booth."
"What's the publisher's name?" Kristin asked.
"Umm. Hmm. Oh, I remember...it's Verlag!" I answered, feeling proud of myself.
Silence. Kristin smiled.
"Laurie? You do know that Verlag just means publisher in German?" Kristin said.
Oh.
Never did find that friend. Too many Verlags.

5 comments:

Betsy said...

HA! And here I thought I was the only one who made those kind of mistakes! :-D

Jim said...

Heh, heh. Spanning a couple of languages can be fun. Like when a student missionary fairly fluent in Spanish was asked to give a mission story. Approaching the church, the pastor talked with her for a bit causing her to walk onto the platform late. She apologized in Spanish for her tardiness, saying she was "embarrassed, but it was the pastor's fault." The word she used, "embarazado", means "pregnant."

Africakid said...

Hi, Betsy and Jim!

I thought of another story about my two sisters.

Susan and Beth visited Southern France several years ago and after taking a long walk through town, couldn't find their hotel.

Beth--"Oh no, Sue, do you remember the name of the street the hotel's on?
Susan--"Uhh, yes, I think so...the name of the street is Rue!"
Beth-- *long pause* "I hate to tell you, Susan, but the word Rue means street..."

Anonymous said...

Shhhsshhh....you're telling family secrets! ; D

Love ya,

Sista' Sue (the culprit in France being so smart about "Rue")

List of Things Lost said...

Laurie,
That is soooo funny. TOo bad you and Norma couldn't hook up during the fair.

My youngest speaks English weird cuz she speaks German so much. She says 'by' for 'with' and it's starting to drive me nuts.

When I corrected her she said, 'What does it matter, everyone knows what I mean.'

So I told her the story of how I misprounounced Xiao in Chinese and combined it with someones name to say 'Donkey' instead of "Mrs. Liu"

I was politely told, "Here in China, calling someone a donkey is an insult."

That was my example to show her that word choices are important.

I was trying to help Alexandria with her French and dropped the 'l' from a word in German (it was late and I just didn't even see it) I kept saying 'poop on' instead of 'install'

Ah well.... it was good for a laugh.