Today I was watching a game show where the presenter was describing the term ‘REM’ in French.Rapid eye movement.He went on to say that in english it’s called a ‘wank’. hahahah
Over the years I have had many different occupations!
My learning of Cantonese occured whilst I was working for the Government in Hong Kong. It was part of the deal! Not much call for it in France, but I have found ONE “Chinese restaurant” where the staff are not Vietnamese, and where we get “real” Chinese food. The best service we had recently using Cantonese was in a Japanese reataurant in Montpellier! I noted that the waiters were all talking in Cantonese during a busy lunch. I ordered in cantonese and the waiter did not bat an eyelid. Two minutes later he came back and asked in French if I had spoken to him in Chinese. I laughed and replied “No” at which he left. He returned with drinks and I asked in Chinese where the toilets where , he replied in Chinese and walked off, only to stop dead in his tracks. By this time Karina and I could hold it no longer and burst out laughing. The result was that two minutes later the owner was at our table. I knew where he lived in Hong Kong and we chatted for ages. The Champagne he brought to the table was free and we received a 50% discount on the meal! Who says that learning a language does not pay dividends!!
When my little one was first learning to talk (French and English at the same time), her funniest phrase was when she had lost something - ‘cherche it mummy, cherche it!’ - try saying it out lound - my mother was horrified!!!
Mind you nana has fallen victim to the 5 yr old giving her duff information when out shopping since then - must be hard relying on a 5yr old for translation services - especially a smarty pants.
How on earth did you end up learning Cantonese (sorry, I am incredibly nosy!)? I do a bit of teaching and translating and for years I tried having sleek business cards to hand out to French people - never worked. Once I got ones with the strapline ‘English for you’ (very parlez vous franglais!) - they went down a treat…
Reminds me of the old Monty Python (?) Sketch, teaching foreigners to speak English. “We pour the tea into the cup” was given as “We tip the elephants into the Jungle”.
Mind you I speak Chinese (Cantonese) and whilst undergoing four months of intesive training there were many many occassions when I was convinced that I was being treated in a similar fashion. Particularly when phrases such as “Good afternoon” are translated as “Did you eat rice yet”! (“Sik Joh faan mei a?”)