Saturday, March 27, 2010

Language confusion

And the results are in. Number one sign you’ve been in a foreign country too long: When you finally get the chance to speak to a native English speaker, you’re still speaking in broken, almost unintelligible English. You might find yourself saying things like, “Oh, it too much hot in here,” or “Ben come?” On other occasions you just might substitute one key word for an entire sentence, leaving that word to be interpreted as it may: “Office?” And then, the confused and unmarred English speaker looks at you pityingly and nods or walks away.

4 comments:

Adam said...

Amazing. You have done in two weeks what it took me two years to do, make my English unintelligible.

Heather Sanders said...

What can I say? I have an amazing ability to decrease the time needed for unintelligibility.

Irene M. said...

¿Pero en qué idioma hablas allí con la gente?

Adam said...

I take it as a healthy sign; you've really immersed yourself in Ethiopian culture. I met an American guy in Brazil who had lived there for four years and didn't know a lick of Portuguese. His English was flawless, but tragic.