Friday, 20th July 2001

All your Cups in your Cupboard?

Hi everybody,

Internet has provoked that English more and more has become THE universal language. Forget French, German, Spanish or Esperanto, "inglese" is what kids talk to each other. My daughter in Luxembourg finds her games "cool", in France Internet surfers "log in", "ils surfent le net" and "ils clickent de page en page". Germans don't even bother anymore translating English technical words, when I talk business or finance with a German customer in German, more than half my words are English anyway.

One good old Luxembourg expression came back to my mind the other day: "Ech gin Dir eng an d'Maul, dat Deng Zaenn am Asch Piano spillen!" ( I hit you in the face so hard, your teeth will play the piano in your ass ). Romantic, isn't it? Nobody talks like that anymore. I used to hear that one daily at school ( thank God I ran faster ). French would say "Je te fous in peche dans ta poire, et tu tombes dans les pommes" ( I put you a pear in your peach, and you fall into the apples: I hit you, and you faint ). Portuguese say "Eu dou-te um pao" ( I give you a bread !!! ) or the very cosy "Tu levas uma bofetada ( you will receive a "Booffataada" - untranslatable, but so nice to pronounce ).

When an Englishman is annoyed with you, he will tell you to f... off ( or "do you like sex and travel? ). In Portugal they will tell you "Vai vender chuchas a porta da maternidade" ( Go and sell lollies at the entrance of the maternity ) or "Vai morder a prima no joelho" ( Go and bite your cousin in the knee ) or simply "Vai a merda". Luxembourgers will tell to close the door, but from the outside and Germans "Mach Dich aus dem Staub" ( get out of the dust ).

You're crazy in German "Du hast nicht alle Tassen im Schrank" ( you haven't got all your cups in the cupboard ), in French "Tu derailles" ( you derail ), in Luxembourg they're much more pragmatic "Du bas Plemm Plemm"...

So please, after seeing all this, stop looking at me with big round eyes, when I suddenly say something you simply cannot understand. In my mind what I say makes perfect sense ( even when I'm the only one to understand ), it just needs to be rearranged correctly in the language I'm just using. Meantime I wish you a very nice weekend.


P.S. Does anyone know why French say from a homosexual "pede comme un phoque?" ( queer as a seal )

A high school English teacher reminds her class of tomorrow's final exam. 'Now class, I won't tolerate any excuses for you not being there tomorrow. I might consider a nuclear attack or a serious personal injury or illness, or a death in your immediate family - but that's it, no other excuses whatsoever!' A smart-ass guy in the back of the room raises his hand and asks,'What would you say if tomorrow I said I was suffering from complete and utter sexual exhaustion?' The entire class does its best to stifle their laughter and snickering. When silence is restored, the teacher smiles sympathetically at the student, shakes her head, and sweetly says, 'Well, I guess you'd have to write the exam with your other hand.'

Thanks Christian