English Lesson
( published Monday, 19th November 2001 )

Guten Morgen,

A lot of people make fun of me, when I show difficulties in understanding what I have been told ( in English ). No wonder: even after 6 years in the UK, I still struggle when watching a British/American movie without subtitles.

Example: Comment to Karine yesterday: "The dresses you make are waisted." ( as in "shaped" )
Karine's answer: "Yes, I usually throw away a lot of fabric...( we both thought "wasted" !!! ).This can provoke some diplomatic problems...

Now imagine a James Bond movie, where the beginning of the movie describes some "waisted" thing. If wrongly interpreted, it can be a bloody pain to follow what the rest is all about ( I know, I know, James Bond is a bad example, all you need to do is switch off the sound and watch the action, really ).

Another one: I couldn't understand why people laugh when I'm explaining I have a row ( fight ) with someone. Well simply because I constantly mix it up with a row ( the line of seats in a cinema!!! )...How can you write a word exactly in the same way, but pronounce the former "Raaaooow", the latter "Rooow"??? Now add the verb "to row" ( as in "using paddles on a boat ), and you start "having a row with someone about the row in a cinema, while rowing on the river Thames..."

There is more, but...only tomorrow!

Have a nice week ahead


Talking of misunderstandings:

Guy walks into a bar, sits down next to another guy and immediately notices the guy has a very large Bic cigarette lighter. The first guy says "Wow, cool lighter...where did you get it?" "A genie from a bottle granted me one wish." "Great, can I try it?" "Sure." First guy rubs the bottle and the genie appears. "You are granted one wish says the genie." The guy says, "I want a million bucks!" "Done" says the genie and disappears. A few minutes go by and suddenly the bar door swings open and in come pouring in ducks. Thousands and thousands of ducks falling all over each other through the bar door. "I can't believe this," says the guy who had just placed his wish, "I asked for a million bucks, not a million ducks!" The second guy then says, "Do you really think I wished for a 12 inch Bic?"