Thursday, January 7, 2010

Translation Troubles, Part II

While I still talk to Pierre on a fairly regular basis, we have stopped the lengthy emails that our reconnection began with. Now it's more of just the normal conversations that you see between facebook friends... only made a little more interesting with that pesky language barrier bit. The past two exchanges have been particularly amusing.

I debated posting this (especially the second one), because for the most part I try to keep things clean here at moose and lulu, but it's just so funny to see the difference between american and european versions of what is considered appropriate. And the entirely innocent nature of our short meeting just exacerbates the cultural differences even more.

A post from him on my facebook wall shortly after New Years:

Happy new year health joys of sex and money while your wishes are realized, full of happiness for 2010.

First of all, WHOA DUDE BOSSDAD IS MY FACEBOOK FRIEND and I'm highly doubtful that Big Wayne appreciates anyone of the male persuasion wishing me "joys of sex" for the new year. Not to mention, my brother, grandmother, and plethora of Mississippi relatives. (The Dot thought it was funny, naturally).

Second of all, isn't that something that most people think but don't actually say outloud? I mean, I guess when we wish fellow americans "A prosperous new year filled with love and happiness" it's pretty much saying the same thing, but wowza with the directness on wishing straight up billz and booty!!

Annnd, the second. Okay, forewarning: this one is a little bit more sexual in nature, but only due to a misunderstanding. So if you're easily offended, please stop reading now.

This started as a comment from him on one of my profile pictures:

Pierre: Aih aih aih sapapaya
Translation: no clue

Natalie: Que fait-il "aih aih aih sapapapya"? Il ne traduit pour moi.
Translation: What does that mean? It doesn't translate for me.

P: Ca veut dire que tu es magnifique et que je veux te manger!!
Translation: It means that you are beautiful and I want to eat you.

**Sidenote: I read this and reread this. I knew what "ca veut dire que tu es magnifique" meant and had no problems there, but I just kept rereading "je veux te manger" thinking that I was 99% sure I knew what that translated to, but... SURELY NOT!

N: Vous êtes si drôle.... merci beaucoup! Et juste vous avertir, "je veux te manger" peut signifier quelque chose très different (sexuel) quand traduit dans l'anglais.
Translation: You are funny... thank you! (WHAT ELSE DO YOU SAY?) But just so you know, "je veux te manger" means something very different (sexual) translated to english.

P: Mais je te te cros ca c'est sur! Plein de biz partout.
Translation: no clue.

N: Je ne comprends pas. Tu dites dans l'anglais?
Translation: I don't understand. Can you say it in english?

P: I say I'll crunch is I eat you because you're too beautiful and I really want to have you undertaker. Undertake it's croque???
Translation: He said this in english, but.... um, what???

N: Je ne sais pas. Je l'ai traduit juste et "undertake" est entreprendre. Mais je ne sais pas toujour que vous signifiez. :)
Translation: I don't know. I just translated "undertake" and it is entreprendre. But I don't know what you are saying.

P: In France in which we see a pretty girl and that we want to kiss the one that says we want the crunch.

N: Je comprends maintenant. Mais dans l'anglais "eat" et "kiss" a sens TRES des différents. J'expliquerai dans un message privé.
Translation: I understand now. But in english "eat" and "kiss" have VERY different meanings. I'll explain in a private message.

P: Ok, I wait your mail.

Annnnd then I had to explain to him the difference. So um, yeah, if you ever look through my google history... you will definitely see "how to say 'oral sex' in french". I also explained that while I realized that it was a misunderstanding and that he didn't really mean what he said, that he should probably refrain from telling other american girls "je veux te manger" to prevent getting slapped/punched/or worse.

It definitely makes you realize how different two countries can be. While I have to admit that I rely very heavily on google translator to help me write to him, I absolutely love the fact that I can almost always read his messages without any help. It is definitely a way more interesting way to accomplish #19 on my 30x30 list than flashcards (even if it means googling the occasional french sexual term in order to clear up miscommunications!) And BONUS, it leads to hilarious conversations with my girlfriends:
So that's the latest in the story of Pierre... undoubtably more to come in the future!


Dotty said... not surprised at this...this is just so you! Love you, just make my life such an adventure.

Wayne Walker said...

uuuhhhh . . . I wonder how you say "fishbait" in French???

Wayne Walker said...



The Waspy Redhead said...

I actually saw the whole "joys of sex and money" in the new year thing unfold on your wall. I was DYING. Keep these wacky stories coming.

for the love said...

How do you say "oral sex" in French? jk! Love hearing about your translation troubles - too funy for words. Thanks for sharing with those of us with less exciting lives.

Charaka Dharma said...

I rarely LOL when I read anything, much less a blod... but really... this was too entertaining...

L A C E Y said...

thanks for the email! this is hilarious.

yep, what your french guy said was what i was finding on google, but i guess it's like "eat" - can mean different things in different contexts! hehe.

i think i'm going to leave it as is for now... we'll see.