I AM much amused by a Hagar the Viking cartoon in which Lucky Eddie declares Norwegian girls as being the best. The sea bandit says, “Yes, but Bulgarian girls are pretty and they’re good cooks.” Undeterred, the Viking’s hapless helper raises the issue of language: “But a Bulgarian girl cannot speak to you!” Hagar considers this for a moment before brightly replying: “And that’s another thing.”
I speak from experience when I say that sharing one’s life with a lady whose language is different from one’s own is an enriching experience. Mine when writing often sends me happy hags (hugs). She also sends me worm (warm) cuddles. Her written endearments are an absolute delight; they would lose much of their charm had she a better understanding of English.
What you describe as killing a bird with one stone comes out as the farmer who shot two rabbits with one gun. She prefers me wearing shorts because she likes my beer (bare) legs.
I cock the dinners up. I think she means I cook the dinners up but can’t be certain. Recently she crocheted a hut for her friend’s head.
I told Lisa, my lovely Danish friend I thought her very plucky. I never realised how close I was to being hand-bagged. She was much offended until she checked out its English meaning. Being plucky in Danish has a different implication, which I leave to your imagination. On saying goodnight she did wish me sweat dreams: Was she being suggestive?
A German friend suggested we go to the pluffin for a meal. I realised he meant The Plough Inn. At the bottom of a Chilean friend’s letter the instruction; ‘please turn around.’ I did so several times before realising he meant PTO as in ‘please turn over.’
There was the English language student who asked: “Should I have a coma in the middle of this sentence?”
Her teacher was taken aback when another student said: “Please don’t shoot so many people in my country.”
“Could you repeat that very slowly,” the tutor replied. The student spelled it out for her: “Police don’t shoot people in my country very often.”
I am glad that is cleared up. Another explained to her teacher: “My mother wants me to marry a good, successful man but I want to marry my boyfriend.”
A student of English was enthusiastic about her progress. She breathlessly observed that if she studied hard she was sure of graduating in 2011 years. Perhaps the same young lady who wrote, ‘we served a nice pig dinner’ after friends visited for a dinner party.
One can hardly blame them. It has been said that all English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.