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Chat: funny language gaffes

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  • Petr Adámek
    ... V jedne knizce od jiste Kanadanky jsem cetl historku o cizinci (angl-amer.), ktery u prepazky na poste prohlasil: Chci dupat , protoze si ve slovniku
    Message 1 of 25 , Nov 29, 2000
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      Simon Vollam wrote:
      >BTW Does anyone else have any unintentionally funny language gaffes?

      V jedne knizce od jiste Kanadanky jsem cetl historku o cizinci (angl-amer.),
      ktery u prepazky na poste prohlasil: "Chci dupat", protoze si ve slovniku
      nasel, ze "stamp" = "dupat". Ja nevim, jestli si autorka tu historku
      nevymyslela, resp. jestli v tom slovniku nebylo vyznaceno, co je podstatne
      jmeno a co sloveso (protoze pokud to tam vyznaceno bylo a ten cizinec si
      vybral sloveso, tak dobre mu tak.) Cele mi to pripada pritazene za vlasy.
      (Mimochodem, prvni, o cem bych poucil cizince, ktery chce jit cesky
      nakupovat, je, ze nerikame "chci", nybrz "chtel bych".)
      S pozdravem Petr Adamek
    • Michael Grant
      ... Unlikely that a cizinec who could make that kind of mistake would be able to pronounce chci in anything close to a comprehensible fashion. Michael --
      Message 2 of 25 , Nov 29, 2000
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        >V jedne knizce od jiste Kanadanky jsem cetl historku o cizinci (angl-amer.),
        >ktery u prepazky na poste prohlasil: "Chci dupat", protoze si ve slovniku
        >nasel, ze "stamp" = "dupat". Ja nevim, jestli si autorka tu historku
        >nevymyslela, resp. jestli v tom slovniku nebylo vyznaceno, co je podstatne
        >jmeno a co sloveso (protoze pokud to tam vyznaceno bylo a ten cizinec si
        >vybral sloveso, tak dobre mu tak.) Cele mi to pripada pritazene za vlasy.

        Unlikely that a cizinec who could make that kind of mistake would be
        able to pronounce "chci" in anything close to a comprehensible
        fashion.

        Michael

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      • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
        ... As I think I mentioned here before, it s relatively common for anglophone learners of Czech to excuse themselves and tell people, Musim do zachodu . I
        Message 3 of 25 , Nov 29, 2000
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          In a message dated 11/29/00 1:42:55 PM, padamek@... writes:

          >Simon Vollam wrote:
          >>BTW Does anyone else have any unintentionally funny language gaffes?

          As I think I mentioned here before, it's relatively common for anglophone
          learners of Czech to excuse themselves and tell people, "Musim do zachodu".

          I used to make a lot of intentional mistakes in Czech, just to make the kids
          yell at me. Most of the time they thought I didn't know better (which was an
          understandable assumption). I would call a stravenka a "jidelni jizdenka",
          and when I was asked by them why I wasn't married, I'd sometimes say,
          "Protoze jsem stary mravenec." I didn't find this THAT funny, but the Czechs
          seemed to. I also thought I was the first one to make up the distortion,
          "Zadny ucetni z nebe nespadl," but some Czech told me this year that it's
          rather common and that I was not the first one to think of it.

          Jamie
        • Palik
          ... Byla jsem u toho, kdyz jeden Cech, odmalicka zijici ve Svycarsku, na muj dotaz zda mu jeho rodice citali ceske pohadky, s potesenim pritakal: o ano,
          Message 4 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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            > >Simon Vollam wrote:
            > >>BTW Does anyone else have any unintentionally funny language gaffes?

            Byla jsem u toho, kdyz jeden Cech, odmalicka zijici ve Svycarsku, na muj
            dotaz zda mu jeho rodice citali ceske pohadky, s potesenim pritakal: "o ano,
            rikali mi pohadku o tom ... jak se tomu rika ... popelni'k ??? ...eehh..
            .nee, uz vim, ..tahle...popelnice!!! (Mela to byt pohadka o Popelce).
            Pak jeste jednu pikantni historku - u te jsem nebyla, ale opravdu se stala.
            Autorkou je jedna uzasne zpivajici Skotka, postarsi dama mluvici cesky. Na
            navsteve v Cesku nonsalantne pravila mym znamym, ze "jeji syn ma velice
            zajimavy konec'ni'k". Kdyz videla zdvorile lec ustrnule pohledy svych
            protejsku, doplnila "no, vite, hobby..." (koni'c'ek) ....cesky se tomu
            rika trapas jako krava >-]

            mimochodem...stary mravenec je moc hezke

            Zdravim, Vlasta
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          • Melvyn Clarke
            ... gaffes? ... In the days when my Hana dared to invite me along into polite company, I once informed a group of dinner-guests at a friend s house that
            Message 5 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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              --- In Czechlist@egroups.com, "Petr Adámek" <padamek@m...> wrote:
              > Simon Vollam wrote:
              > >BTW Does anyone else have any unintentionally funny language
              gaffes?
              >
              In the days when my Hana dared to invite me along into polite
              company, I once informed a group of dinner-guests at a friend's house
              that English white bread has a large number of preservatives in it.
              No prizes for guessing which word I used. You should have seen their
              faces. Poor Hana. Can't take me anywhere.

              8X

              Melvyn
            • Melvyn Clarke
              Hi again, I ve been doing a translation on the activities of a civic association (obcanske sdruzeni) for handicapped children. Their mission statement
              Message 6 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                Hi again,

                I've been doing a translation on the activities of a civic
                association (obcanske sdruzeni) for handicapped children. Their
                mission statement includes:

                organizuje rehabilitacni pobyty, vycvikove a poznavaci tabory,
                studijni ozdravne pobyty ap.

                (Sorry, no more context)

                What do you understand by these 'poznavaci tabory'? I wonder if they
                are like 'nature-study camps' or do they involve what we call in
                Britain 'outward-bound activities', where kids learn how to become
                more self-reliant by surviving long hikes in the pouring rain and
                making camp fires out of two slugs and that kind of thing?

                And there's that awful word 'ozdravne' again. Recuperative study
                trips? Maybe to recuperate from the poznavaci tabory?
                Melvyn



                Melvyn
              • Melvyn Clarke
                Hullo again, So this organization that helps handicapped children also engages in osvetova cinnost - a k tomu porada kulturni, sportovni a spolecenske akce
                Message 7 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                  Hullo again,

                  So this organization that helps handicapped children also engages
                  in 'osvetova cinnost' - a k tomu porada kulturni, sportovni a
                  spolecenske akce'

                  Hmmm...

                  Awareness-raising activities?

                  Promotional and educational activities?

                  Any other ideas?

                  Melvyn
                • TRAVNICKOVA Hana
                  Hi Melvyn, thinking of the meaning of poznávací zájezd , couldn t a poznávací pobyt mean something like travelling and some sightseeing? Like castles
                  Message 8 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                    Hi Melvyn,

                    thinking of the meaning of "poznávací zájezd", couldn't a "poznávací pobyt"
                    mean something like travelling and some sightseeing? Like castles etc.?

                    Hana
                  • TRAVNICKOVA Hana
                    osvetova cinnost - Promotional and educational activities This one sounds good to me Hana
                    Message 9 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                      'osvetova cinnost' -

                      Promotional and educational activities

                      This one sounds good to me

                      Hana
                    • Simon Vollam
                      ... house ... their ... Nice one, Melvyn :-)) My best faux pas was to inform my mother-in-law-to-be that she was wearing no kalhotky , when I was in fact
                      Message 10 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                        > > Simon Vollam wrote:
                        > > >BTW Does anyone else have any unintentionally funny language
                        > gaffes?
                        > >
                        > In the days when my Hana dared to invite me along into polite
                        > company, I once informed a group of dinner-guests at a friend's
                        house
                        > that English white bread has a large number of preservatives in it.
                        > No prizes for guessing which word I used. You should have seen
                        their
                        > faces. Poor Hana. Can't take me anywhere.
                        >

                        Nice one, Melvyn :-))

                        My best faux pas was to inform my mother-in-law-to-be that she was
                        wearing no "kalhotky", when I was in fact referring to her sockless
                        feet. This was in my early phase of Czech self-tuition, after several
                        hours spent trying (in vain, it would seem) to commit the Czech names
                        of items of clothing to memory.

                        Fortunately, the wedding went ahead regardless.

                        Simon
                      • Simon Vollam
                        ... So that s why it s so chewy:-)))
                        Message 11 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                          > English white bread has a large number of preservatives in it.

                          So that's why it's so chewy:-)))
                        • Michael Grant
                          ... I made a pretty similar gaffe once among a group of Englishpersons. The evening was turning chilly, and one of the young ladies (who was dressed in a
                          Message 12 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                            >My best faux pas was to inform my mother-in-law-to-be that she was
                            >wearing no "kalhotky", when I was in fact referring to her sockless
                            >feet. This was in my early phase of Czech self-tuition, after several
                            >hours spent trying (in vain, it would seem) to commit the Czech names
                            >of items of clothing to memory.

                            I made a pretty similar gaffe once among a group of Englishpersons.
                            The evening was turning chilly, and one of the young ladies (who was
                            dressed in a skirt) mentioned that she was getting cold. I suggested
                            that she should have worn pants....

                            Michael

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                          • Otto Pacholik
                            ... I think you are right. It has nothing to do with long hikes in pouring rain (just sometimes when the weather changes just a bit (-;). Otto
                            Message 13 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                              > thinking of the meaning of "poznávací zájezd", couldn't a
                              > "poznávací pobyt"
                              > mean something like travelling and some sightseeing? Like castles etc.?

                              I think you are right. It has nothing to do with long hikes in pouring rain
                              (just sometimes when the weather changes just a bit (-;).

                              Otto
                            • Barendregt
                              Hi, poznavaci tabory - discovery camps, camps filled with learning activities [I do not think this is anything like the outward-bound,
                              Message 14 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                                Hi,

                                poznavaci tabory - discovery camps, camps filled with learning
                                activities [I do not think this is anything like the outward-bound,
                                learn-about-yourself-through-hardship camps; what this simply means is
                                "your kids won't just be sitting on their butts all day long, we will
                                make a trip to a museum or a castle once in awhile"]

                                ozdravne pobyty - therapy/respite camps is what
                                http://wizard.ucr.edu/~wm/therapy.html suggests; my suggestion is that
                                in the CR these may also be camps for healthy kids who happen to live in
                                unhealthy places (something like 'skola v prirode')

                                osvetova cinnost - I like your suggestions (I prefer 'educational
                                activities') but could not help to mention that in the business newspeak
                                (mostly SW industry, I think) 'evangelize' is used in the meaning 'raise
                                awareness' or 'educate' (as in "one constantly has to evangelize the
                                need for software internationalization or the developers will never
                                think of it").

                                Tom
                              • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
                                ... That sounds the best to me, or just activities for raising awareness . Conscious-raising activities could be used, but that sounds a little too
                                Message 15 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                                  In a message dated 11/30/00 10:29:13 AM, zehrovak@... writes:

                                  >Hmmm...
                                  >
                                  >Awareness-raising activities?

                                  That sounds the best to me, or just "activities for raising awareness".
                                  "Conscious-raising activities" could be used, but that sounds a little too
                                  radicalized.

                                  Jamie
                                • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
                                  ... Wouldn t this be called something like an introductory tour or an introductory stay ? This would carry with it the assumption that someone hopes the
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                                    In a message dated 11/30/00 10:53:45 AM, hana.travnickova@... writes:

                                    >thinking of the meaning of "poznávací zájezd", couldn't a "poznávací pobyt"
                                    >mean something like travelling and some sightseeing? Like castles etc.?

                                    Wouldn't this be called something like an "introductory tour" or an
                                    "introductory stay"? This would carry with it the assumption that someone
                                    hopes the tourists will so like the destination that they will come again and
                                    again.

                                    JK
                                  • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
                                    Back to poznavaci . ... Don t some hotels in Anglophonia have what is called an introductory room rate , which is a discount for new customers who they hope
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                                      Back to "poznavaci".

                                      In a message dated 11/30/00 10:53:45 AM, hana.travnickova@... writes:

                                      >thinking of the meaning of "poznávací zájezd", couldn't a "poznávací pobyt"
                                      >mean something like travelling and some sightseeing? Like castles etc.?

                                      Don't some hotels in Anglophonia have what is called an "introductory room
                                      rate", which is a discount for new customers who they hope will become
                                      regulars?

                                      Jamie
                                    • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
                                      ... Worse yet: I knew a very friendly, outgoing girl in high school, who was always the first to warmly introduce herself at any gathering of strangers,
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                                        In a message dated 11/30/00 11:26:56 AM, mgrant@... writes:

                                        >I made a pretty similar gaffe once among a group of Englishpersons.
                                        >The evening was turning chilly, and one of the young ladies (who was
                                        >dressed in a skirt) mentioned that she was getting cold. I suggested
                                        >that she should have worn pants....

                                        Worse yet: I knew a very friendly, outgoing girl in high school, who was
                                        always the first to warmly introduce herself at any gathering of strangers,
                                        especially to guys. So, on her first trip to the UK, just as at home, she
                                        would walk up to young men, look them in the eye, offer her hand and say,
                                        "Hi! I'm Randi!"

                                        Jamie
                                      • Michael Trittipo
                                        ... Then there was the time in Munich back in 1976 when I was telling a Czech friend my recipe for making bread. I couldn t remember the word for yeast, so I
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Nov 30, 2000
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                                          >that English white bread has a large number of preservatives in it.

                                          Then there was the time in Munich back in 1976 when I was telling a Czech
                                          friend my recipe for making bread. I couldn't remember the word for yeast,
                                          so I said, "No, potom tam davam - hmm, neznam slovo, ale to vis - mnoho
                                          moc malinkych zvirat . . .." From her reaction, I doubt if it would have
                                          been any better if my biology had been more accurate, so as to have
                                          classified kvasinky among plants, not animals.




                                          Michael Trittipo
                                          Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
                                          mailto:tritt002@...
                                        • Simon Vaughan
                                          ... room rate , which is a discount for new customers who they hope will become regulars? Is Anglophonia your coinage, Jamie? Whoever came up with it, it
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Dec 1, 2000
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                                            > Don't some hotels in Anglophonia have what is called an "introductory
                                            room rate", which is a discount for new customers who they hope will
                                            become regulars?

                                            Is "Anglophonia" your coinage, Jamie? Whoever came up with it, it deserves
                                            to catch on.

                                            Simon
                                          • Simon Vaughan
                                            ... Surely consciousness-raising activities . Simon
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Dec 1, 2000
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                                              > "Conscious-raising activities" could be used, but that sounds a little too
                                              > radicalized.

                                              Surely "consciousness-raising activities".

                                              Simon
                                            • Melvyn Clarke
                                              ... little too ... Yes, very much on a level with agitacni cinnost , I think :X These activities are indeed aimed more at the public than the kids themselves,
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Dec 1, 2000
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                                                --- In Czechlist@egroups.com, "Simon Vaughan" <rachelandsimon@v...>
                                                wrote:
                                                > > "Conscious-raising activities" could be used, but that sounds a
                                                little too
                                                > > radicalized.
                                                >
                                                > Surely "consciousness-raising activities".
                                                >
                                                > Simon

                                                Yes, very much on a level with 'agitacni cinnost', I think :X


                                                These activities are indeed aimed more at the public than the kids
                                                themselves, I believe, Jamie. As an alternative to mere
                                                'awareness-raising activities', how about 'public-awareness raising
                                                activities/campaigns' (bit of a mouthful, I suppose) or maybe just
                                                'public-awareness raising' and lose the 'activities'? Or lose the
                                                'public-awareness raising' too and just express it with our body
                                                language?

                                                Melvyn
                                                P.S. Hey Simon, where is my voch@n bag of peanuts?
                                              • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
                                                ... Yes, sorry.
                                                Message 23 of 25 , Dec 1, 2000
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                                                  In a message dated 12/1/00 11:42:42 AM, rachelandsimon@... writes:

                                                  >> "Conscious-raising activities" could be used, but that sounds a little too
                                                  >> radicalized.
                                                  >
                                                  >Surely "consciousness-raising activities".

                                                  Yes, sorry.
                                                • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
                                                  ... I made it up this time, but that doesn t mean no one else has made it up before me without my knowing it. After all, the French talk about Francophonie .
                                                  Message 24 of 25 , Dec 1, 2000
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                                                    In a message dated 12/1/00 11:41:30 AM, rachelandsimon@... writes:

                                                    >> Don't some hotels in Anglophonia have what is called an "introductory
                                                    >room rate", which is a discount for new customers who they hope will
                                                    >become regulars?

                                                    >Is "Anglophonia" your coinage, Jamie? Whoever came up with it, it deserves
                                                    >to catch on.

                                                    I made it up this time, but that doesn't mean no one else has made it up
                                                    before me without my knowing it. After all, the French talk about
                                                    "Francophonie".

                                                    JK
                                                  • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
                                                    ... You don t need public in these expressions. It s too big a mouthful, as you said. JK
                                                    Message 25 of 25 , Dec 1, 2000
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                                                      In a message dated 12/1/00 2:01:18 PM, zehrovak@... writes:

                                                      >These activities are indeed aimed more at the public than the kids
                                                      >themselves, I believe, Jamie. As an alternative to mere
                                                      >'awareness-raising activities', how about 'public-awareness raising
                                                      >activities/campaigns' (bit of a mouthful, I suppose) or maybe just
                                                      >'public-awareness raising' and lose the 'activities'? Or lose the
                                                      >'public-awareness raising' too and just express it with our body
                                                      >language?

                                                      You don't need "public" in these expressions. It's too big a mouthful, as
                                                      you said.

                                                      JK
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