Sunday, August 12, 2007

Be Extra Careful Of These Terms

*At the moment, I'm still in the middle of my summer trip. I'm currently in Hiroshima but more on that in my later entry. As for now, this is another of my pre-written entry to make sure my blog won't become a deserted site*
Have you ever face a situation when you say one word without knowing that that word has some other meaning in some other language? I think that's a pretty common thing.
In this post, I will focus mainly on Chinese and Japanese. The most common word among we guys would be 地買. No idea how to read that word? Easy. It's CHI-BAI. Literally, it means "land buy". So, if you simply say that to any Japanese, the worst thing they can reply you will only be something like "No money la".
But what do you think will happen if you simply say that to someone back home? I can assure that you will get one tight slap on your face. Worst, if you are more unlucky, you might end up in ICU (Internal Cabbage Unit).
Another word will be ランチ会う. This time, what do you think it means? It will be more interesting if you couldn't read the Japanese because if you do, I don't think you will think more than just lunch. Well, translating that word will make it "Ranciao", which means "lunch meet".
Nothing offensive at all right?
Not until you trying saying that to a guy. "Ei, you got no ランチ会う ar?" You know what I mean, don't you?
Before you guys think that this is turning into an entry full of these beautiful kind of words, let me move to a lighter side. This time, it's Malay and Japanese. For you guys who don't understand Malay or Japanese, let me explain a few words before I go any further.
In Malay, "nama" means "name" while in Japanese, it means "raw". "Pari" means "stingray" in Malay, while it refers to "Paris" in Japanese. Imagine a Japanese in a morning market trying to buy a fish.
Japanese: Anoo, kore, nama nano? (Err, this one raw ah?)
Mak Cik: Nama? Oo, nama ikan ker? Ikan ni namanya ikan pari (Name? Oo, fish’s name isit? This fish is called pari)
Japanese: Pari? Sakana jyan?! (Paris? Not fish meh?)
Mak Cik: Budak Jipun ni, nak kana(k)-kana(k) dengan aku pulak! (This Japanese, wan kids with me pulak!)
Japanese: Katakana jya nai. Namano sakana kaitai (Not katakana. I want to buy raw fish)
Mak Cik: Budak ni dah naik gila ker? Tiba-tiba mai nyanyi lagu numano mano mano dengan aku pula (This kid mad ady isit? Suddenly come and sing numano mano mano sing with me pula)
Japanese: Zenzen wakaranai! Bai bai (Dun understand at all. Bye Bye)
Mak Cik: San kyu (Thanks)
That is what you get if you don't know how the meaning of a word can be so much different when it is conversed in a different language. In the end, you will never get to buy even a pari fish.
So, do you have any version of yours? Any language will do.

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