Friday, September 29, 2006

Lost in Translation

Blogger's Note: For those once weekly readers, there are three posts for your reading pleasure. I was able to get to the internet in the middle of the week for an update.

There are some phrases in English that carry a different meaning to those in US than those in Guyana. I’ve compiled a list of a few things that we’re used to saying that might translate a little differently here.

“Don’t leave home without it”
In the US it means- your credit card
In Guyana it means- your hand sanitizer

Don’t let the bed bugs bite”
In the US it means- sleep well
In Guyana it means- brush off any bugs from your mattress, light a mosquito coil, spray Deet on yourself, and pull the mosquito net over you before you go to sleep

“Rain shower”
In the US it means- a mild rain storm
In Guyana it means- take your soap and shampoo outside and get to cleaning

“I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”
In the US it means- I’ll do a favor for you in return for a one
In Guyana it means- I’ll itch the mosquito bites on your back if you’ll do the same in return

“Don’t sweat it”
In the US it means- don’t worry about it
In Guyana it means- don’t let your constant sweat drip on the students’ papers you’re grading

“Cruel and unusual punishment”
In the US it means- what our forefathers vowed in the Constitution that we would not have to endure
In Guyana it means- spending all morning under the hot sun hand washing a bucket full of jeans, towels and bed sheets, wringing the heavy cloth dry, hanging them out on the line only to have it rain.

“Your way, right away”
In the US it means- A common customer service motto originating from a fast food chain’s promise to make your burger the way you like it immediately
In Guyana it means- Does not compute


Anonymous said...

Silly Yvonne...

You have to think Avis...

"We Try Harder!"

stinkylin said...

hi yvonne, i havent had time to read your postings until today. im all caught up. sounds like you are having an interesting time. you are very brave and have a good heart. even if you get to change the life of one of those uncivilized monkeys, it's still better than none. what did your mom send you? cupcakes with deet on them?

Anonymous said...

Heyyyy Yvonne!

I just got caught up on all of your postings today. I must say that the heat and bugs remarks had me laughing at my desk.

Enjoy every minute of this great adventure. Hopefully we'll see you back in NY soon.

Danny from TransWorld :)