Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lost in translation

While walking back home one evening, my friend and I were over taken by an ambulance passing at high speed, its sirens blazing.

"nee-naw, nee-naw," I commented sleepily.

"Sorry?" my friend looked blank.

"nee-naw," I pointed at the ambulance's retreated lights.

"Oh!" she exclaimed. "We say pee-paw!"

There was a pause while we both considered this. The actual sound the emergency vehicle made was the same as in the UK, it was only our verbal interpretation that differed.

"What do dogs say?" my friend asked me suddenly.

I blinked. "Woof?"

She grinned. "In Japan, they say wan-wan."

Shortly after this, we passed a house where a black and white cat was eying us suspiciously from the front room window.


We supplied simultaneously, pointing. The cat left. European or Asian, its views on us were clear.

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