01 March 2015

Lost in Translation #Travel Linkup

My first ever experience of foreign languages was Japanese in high school. It was also my first embarrassing experience of something getting lost in translation...or pronunciation.


Our school was playing host to Japanese exchange students and we were all crammed into the teachers lounge meeting and getting to know each other, the girls on one side, boys on the other, as you do in awkward teen years, when one of the girls asked me if I liked guys "with led back". I didn't quite get that, but after she repeated herself a couple of times, I was like "Ohhhh! Guys who are laid back!" to which she nodded, yeah. It was a bit of an odd question but I said sure, I liked guys who are laid back. I swear her face lit up and she gave me the biggest smile before running off to another student...a tall Japanese boy with a red bag....


Since moving to London, Ive come across a few words which can cause a bit of confusion. The most common one you're likely to hear about is 'pants'. Pants in the UK mean underpants/knickers/panties whatever you want to call em. In Australia they mean trousers. Ive lost count of the number of times I've said 'pants' meaning trousers and gotten funny looks from people here.


Then there is the less common 'pull'. A friend of mine was chatting with a colleague at work and asked him if he pulled a girl. I was shocked! I was thinking 'How rude! Why would he pull a girl? That's not very nice!' Before I jumped in on my high horse to say just how rude and disrespectful he was and that women should not be manhandled, my friend saw the look on my face and quickly explained that 'pulling' meant chatting up a girl. Thankfully she had the grace to laugh at me only for the rest of the afternoon.


As an Aussie, I have been in the position of confusing others too. Bludger, dag, mozzie, Maccas and arvo just to name a few. Can you guess what they are?

When travelling, I'm always amused to see how English is used and it can provide a few giggles. Japan has been the oddest, all the above photos are from there, but I did spot an interesting store name in Brussels recently.


Do you have your own "Lost in translation" story to tell? I'm so excited to be guest hosting this months blog link up with lovely Kiwi trio Emma, Kelly and Rebecca. Why not join in and have a laugh? Details below!




18 comments:

  1. 'Pants' definitely seems to be one confusing people!
    Lots of love,
    Angie

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    1. Sure is. But it's amusing confusion ;)

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  2. This was really interesting to read! And helpful- im studying abroad in London right now and traveling to so many new cities I get confused all the time. xx

    I'd love it if you could also come check out my blog! Maybe we can follow each other? afashionneverland.blogspot.com

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    1. Glad you found it helpful.
      Sure, will check out your blog. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  3. LOVE some of these Japanese signs! I know how difficult translation can be as an expat - being able to laugh at yourself is so important!!

    Polly xx
    Follow Your Sunshine

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    1. So true! You really do need to keep your sense of humor about you.

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  4. I adore the intentionally pun-tastic signs you come across occasionally - sell-fridges always makes me laugh!!

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    1. Yeah, some are quite clever. I havent seen the sell-fridges one, is it in London?

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  5. As an American, I *often* use "pants" too when referring to my jeans or trousers. One of my favorite stories came about when I was studying abroad (in England) with a few other Americans ... Virgin Atlantic lost one of my friend's luggage and we went shopping together in Oxford city centre to find her some new clothes in the interim. That's when she exclaimed loudly to the whole store (but to me, in particular), "Ugh, I can't wait to change out of these clothes! I've been wearing the same pants for FOUR DAYS!" It went completely silent.

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    1. OMG!!! I bet you could have heard a pin drop! Lol! What a funny story, utterly classic, thanks for sharing.

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  6. argh, the pants made it onto my list too! haha.

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    1. I think there should be a movement to get Brits using 'pants' in the Aussie/American sense, dont you?

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  7. I hear you on the pants. It's taken me years so I've now gotten more careful with it. BTW, I spotted a Bimbo store in France when skiing too (of course, took a photo!).

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  8. I never heard about the pants confusion! I'm American and clearly I have a lot to learn before going to England!

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    1. Well you came to the right link up! Be sure to check out ChicaDeeDee's post!

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  9. I love how the Japanese use their Rs like Ls. Makes for many a funny sign/ conversation.

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    1. It does, but they just dont have an equivalent.

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