June 03, 2009

Chinese Under Pressure Makes for Embarrassing Errors!

It seems that if someone wants to hear me humiliate myself in Chinese they just need to surprise me. Particularly on the bus or in the market.

Scenerio 1
Someone on the bus stomps on my toe and says "Duibuqi!" (I'm sorry).
My response: "Bukeqi" (You're welcome)

Scenerio 2
I stomp on someone else's foot on the bus and say "Xie xie" (Thank you!)

Scenerio 3
I accidently hit someone from behind at the market with the stroller when she stops abruptly in front of me. She turns to shoot fire at me with her eyes and I fumble around saying "Meguanxi" (Oh that's alright! Don't worry about it! I forgive you etc")

In all three scenerios I had to stifle my laughter and quickly leave with a red face. It reminds me of a time back in Winnipeg when James and I were riding the bus to the University. The bus driver lurched, and as I tried to catch my balance I stepped on someone's toe (I realize that I am making myself seem very awkward on my feet). The guy screamed in pain as though I were wearing baseball cleats. I tried to apologize but it was our stop and we had to get off the bus (At least I didn't say "thank you" to him!). As we got off the bus we heard him say "It had to be THAT toe!"

One more speaking mistake. I was reading a sentence in my book that said "That woman has recently become fat, she should eat less" (Yes, this is becoming a theme in our textbook). Instead I ended up saying, "That woman has recently become fat, she should eat her hand". Less is shao (third tone) and hand is shou (also third tone). My teacher and I had a good laugh and I pantomimed gnawing desperately on my hand.

1 comment:

Jojo & Scott said...

We are sitting in the incredibly loud office. construction in the building beside up, on our roof, along with the crazy horns from the street and now some guy is banging on a piece of metal. Windows and doors have to be open because our CR's don't believe in Air Conditioning.

I feel like I am going insane!!!

Thanks for the laugh.