Archive for the ‘Language Barrier’ Category

And on Your Left— Wednesday One-Liners!

Kid to another: And then, when you're 45, we can be tour guides.

–West Village

Overheard by: of bugle be uncouth

Tour guide: This tour will be in English, we have tour pamphlets in several other languages. If you are a non English speaking passenger, this announcement is of no use to you.

–Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise

Overheard by: Trixie

Overexcited bespectacled tour guide leader to group of uninterested parents: So! That's the great thing, you know, about this school, is that it's not just you. It's the city, and the students, and the people, and the tourists, and… (starts to run out of things to say) the homeless people, and the squirrels… and pigeons! So, you see, it's not ever just you!

–Bobst Library, NYU

Tour guide on bus: Now over here we have Trump Towers. Donald is not in the building today, as he is out of country awaiting the birth of his next wife.

–Trump Towers

The language of chickens

Middle-aged Man: “you know how people all over the world, chinese, african, whatever, they look different”
Middle-aged woman: “”well no matter where you go the chickens of the world, they look the same, ever thought about that”
Middle-aged Man: “I wonder if they speak the same language?” — McDonald’s, by the corner of Houston & Hudson

You know you’re Not in New York when… (Part Eleven)

In a coffeeshop in Los Angeles (the Novel cafe in Santa Monica), a tutor is giving a beginning Spanish lesson to a student at the table next to me. The student is reading a newspaper article in Spanish, and then translating each sentence word by word: Student: “I don’t know what this word, ‘decada’ means”
Teacher: “What do you think it means?”
Student: “I don’t know”
Teacher: “Guess.”
Student: “I really don’t know”
Teacher: “Here’s a hint. It’s very similar to an English word”
Student: “‘Decada’? Deca….. I have no idea”
Teacher: “It’s almost identical to the English word”
Student: “uhhhhh”
Teacher: “There’s only one letter difference”
Student: “deca….?”
Teacher: “C’mon, what do you think?”
Student: “I really have no idea”
(Teacher pinches her on the nose!)
Teacher: “It’s Decade!!!”
Student: “Ahhhhh!!!! Okay! I feel stupid!”