Friday, 6 December 2013


 Misunderstandings can happen all the time even among people who speak the same language.
"I've got to turn left, right?"
"Yeah right, you've got to turn left"

 I have always liked the Billy Connolly
story about the priest in Scotland who inadvertently walks into a brothel thinking it's a cafe,
when the young lady tells him that he can have super sex( this has to be said with a Scottish accent.,) he answers " I 'd just like the soup, thanks".
 Grandpa and I were both bad at languages. He toured round France just knowing 2 words, "deux chambres" and "addition" and lots of smiling and bonhomie.
Once , when we stayed with our French friends he asked us to teach him how to say "Je suis Stupide",
He tried and tried but all he could manage was "JA swee stew peed", which caused a lot of laughter.
All this hilarity caused him to often repeat "I am a comeek".

Uncle Peter on the other hand, right from the age of 11, was always a brilliant linguist and we were all very proud of him. Grandpa would thrust him to the fore and proudly say "He speaks French!"All linguistic barriers disappeared.

When I first came to Italy, Grandpa and Uncle Peter drove to see me bringing essentials from home, like marmite and lemon meringue pie filling. There was n't the Schengel agreement then so they had to stop at the customs between France and Italy. When the customs officials saw all the parcels, Uncle Peter explained, in his newly acquired Italian what was in them. Grandpa looked on in admiration and as they were waved through he clapped loudly and shouted "Bravo!!". A whistle blew  and they were ordered back to have the car searched.
It was a bit of a shock for kind-hearted Grandpa to be treated as a potential smuggler.

It 's quite nice to see people getting enjoyment from the mistakes I make in Italian, even after all these years it still happens.It's the English language, however, that is full of so many plays on words and ambiguous words. My next post will be about Christmas cracker jokes, so be prepared.

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