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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000469.txt from 2001/05

From: "Rien Stein" <rstein@-----.nl>
Subj: [kl] Re: klarinet Digest 18 May 2001 20:15:00 -0000 Issue 3088
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 00:27:31 -0400

On Fri, 18 May 2001 10:25:10 -0700 (PDT)
William Wright wrote:

>Exploring another culture's language and the import of its
> idioms was part of the fun for me!

I quite agree: When you go abraod, and take the trouble to learn the
language of the country, you'll enjoy your stay twice as much.

And in the next mail he continued

> Once, by adding my best guess to an English stem, I unwittingly
> accused a Spanish girl (to her face) of getting pregnant in public. In
> those days, saying such a thing was a much more serious offense than it
> would be nowadays. Fortunately her parents weren't there at the time,
> but one of the boys took me aside and gave me a thorough lecture about
> good manners --- especially since the correct idiom for "embarrassed" in
> Spanish does not sound at all like the English word, and every student
> of Spanish learns this during the first week or two of classes. My
> mind just short-circuited while I was attempting to cope with a
> difficult social situation in a foreign (to me) country.
>
> Cheers,
> Bill
>

I had an even worse experience. When I learned French, I was taught that the
French word for ''hugging'' is ''embrasser''. At the age of seventeen I made
my first visit to France. After I had asked a small favour from a girl of
my age, and she had done it, I thanked her by saying: ''Mademoiselle, je
vous embrasse'', ''Miss, I hug you''. After he had knocked me almost KO, her
brother told me I had just declared in public that I was going to sleep with
her. The year was 1961, we didn't even think of sleeping with girls .....

Rien

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