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"A Funny Thing Happened in the Classroom Today"
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2003 4:40 am    Post subject: words with 2 meanings! Reply with quote

Thanks Roger!

Your example gives new meaning to the term "fast talker" ... and highlites once again the abundant humour in words with 2 meanings. Speaking of German, here's another cute anecdote which has absolutely nothing to do with 'private parts'. Cool

Many years ago while living in the Carpatian mountains of Romania, I was visited by a dear old friend from Germany. We'll call him 'Peter' because that was his real name. Wink

So ... one evening, we're all seated together around a big table at my Romanian friend's house, eating, chatting and drinking all kinds of vile home-made Romanian wines and brandies, etc... when Peter suddenly stands up, raises his glass and says loudly, "Prost !" (which is an informal 'cheers' in German) to which my Romanian hosts' and friends' chins nearly dropped to the floor.

"Kent; how can he say such a rude thing to us?", one of them asked in a hurt voice. What poor German Peter didn't realize is this: 'prost' means 'stupid' in Romanian. Razz After I told him this, we all had a good laugh and settled on using 'cheers' for the remainder of the evening.

TeeHee,
keNt


Last edited by Kent F. Kruhoeffer on Sun Apr 27, 2003 5:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Seth



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 575
Location: in exile

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2003 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back when I lived in Luoyang, China, I had a German Swiss friend who owned a restaurant. In Henan province, there's a strange mutation of the word 'shenme', which means 'what.' Instead of Shenme they'd say 'sha.' The phrase 'Shenme yisi' means 'what is the meaning' or 'what does that mean.' So instead of saying 'shenme yisi' Henan folk would say 'Sha yisi.' Sha yisi said quickly sounds almost exactly like the German word for s**t. So occasionally when my Swiss friend said something, the locals would look confused and say 'sha yisi' and laugh. Finally he asks me 'why do they keep saying s**t to me?'
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2003 5:19 am    Post subject: maybe it was the food? Reply with quote

Dear Seth (a.k.a. dear leader Hu Jintao):

That was very funny! By the way, the German word for 'sh*t' is spelled 'Scheisse' so I can imagine his consternation when people would say that to him, especially in a restaurant.

Maybe they didn't like the food? Laughing

Regards,
keNt
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Seth



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 575
Location: in exile

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2003 10:26 am    Post subject: spit or... Reply with quote

Another weird translation story:

There's a grade 3 junior student at my school (age 16 or so) who's name is 'Liu Yanlai.' Since Chinese names all have a special meaning, I asked what her name meant. She said 'It means swallow come!' I was taken aback for a few moments and had her write out the characters that made up her name. 'Yan' is the noun 'swallow,' 'Lai' is the verb 'to come.' The 'Swallow' was the kind of bird, which is a traditionally thought to bring health or luck or something like that. So luck or health was coming via a bird. Whew.
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2003 10:36 am    Post subject: We have a WINNER !!!! Reply with quote

Dear Seth:

I'm laughing so hard at the moment I can't type straight. Laughing

Good Lord, that's funny! Really, I have tears rolling down my cheeks from laughing so hard. I'm so glad that 'swallow' was a noun and not a verb ... and that 'come' was a verb and not a noun. Twisted Evil
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