Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The Gift of Language

You know what I love the most about non-English speaking countries?  Seeing native words that resemble a funny English word.

My favourite German word so far (and brace yourself for some serious immaturity) is ausfahrt. 

Hahaha, golly gee, hehehe, I'm so mature. AUSFAHRT.  HAHAHAHA!!!!

Now according to The Swiss  (who seriously rolls his eyes when I randomly shout something like 'that guy is an AUSFAHRT!  He cut in front of me!') this delicate and not-at-all funny word actually means 'exit'.

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The other day I was waiting for a bus in Bern, and as I looked about I realized I was standing in front of this sign.

eek!

And oh how I laughed.  Here's why I think this bank calls themselves EEK!

"EEK! We have no idea what we're doing!"

"EEK! We've lost all your money gambling in the stock market!"

"EEK! We opened the vault and someone's replaced all the gold bars with Monopoly money!"

"EEK! What's an investment portfolio?!"

"EEK! We don't know what the pie chart means!  We just want pie!"

And when Dan got home from work that night, I stumbled all over my words trying to tell him how funny it is that there's a bank here called EEK!

He stared at me blankly.

"Come on! You know, like 'eek! I've seen a mouse!'"

"I know what you're saying, but I don't think it's funny.  EEK is an abbreviation for............" 

(zzzzzzzsnoreboringdon'tcareitmeansEEKwetotallyf*edupsothere)

Then to prove my point THAT THIS WAS FUNNY, DAMMIT! I brought up his experience when he was trying to learn English upon moving to Canada.

Canadians are giving people, and just wanted to make their new Swiss neighbours right at home in their new community. Thus the following:

"Hello new neighbour!  I'd like to gift  you with this homemade jam."

"Hey neighbour!  I'd like to gift you with this cake!"

"Hey buddy! I want you to have only the best gift for your birthday."

But all the poor Swiss could think is, "Why do these Canadians want to poison me?!"

Gift auf Deutsch = poison

"Yeah, okay.  I guess EEK is a little funny," he conceded.

Darn right it is!

Gosh.  Good thing I love him so much, because sometimes my husband can be such an ausfahrt.

1 comment:

T said...

Haha,I forgot all about the gift story! Made me laugh all over again. I am definitely going to need someone to say ausfahrt for me out loud now.