#507 – Translation

I had a semester of Spanish in Juniour High and a year of French in High school. I don’t really remember much of either of them. I think I remember more Spanish from Sesame Street than from the class. The only useful thing I retained from French class is a general understanding of how to pronounce random French words that I come across. I don’t know if it’s my proximity to Canada or if it’s nationwide but a lot of products around here are labeled in English and French. We are all starting to learn marketing words in French from sheer repetition.


29 thoughts on “#507 – Translation”

  1. Rick V says:

    People will do the weirdest things for the strangest reasons. Usually it’s actually the reasons that make the thing weird.

  2. Josh says:

    Yes, Fax is a very difficult language to learn.

  3. LazerWulf says:

    Growing up in Texas, Spanish was the big language everyone took.

    However, I, rebel that I am, took German.

  4. Heinrich says:

    d00d… can i learn fax?

  5. Metal Matt says:

    I speak fax!


    Dang, I knew my fluency wasn’t great. I think I said “2”.

    † Metal Matt †

  6. Kadro says:

    Oh, so its Phone themed week.
    Thats awesome by the way. Learning Fax certainly is a difficult one, or so I’d think….. if it only took 6 weeks though than it can’t be TOO hard can it?

  7. Nick Steele says:

    Dammit, ihad 5 years of french and for one of them i did spanish too.

    I’m pleased to announce that 2 years on, i ca’t remember a shred of either ^_^

  8. insertnamehere says:

    the whole labeled in english and french thing is more a all-english-speaking-countries thing. This was explained by me French teacher last year (I no longer take french). It seems that english and french are the 2 more widely spoken languages, so the manufacturers put those languages on them.

    Sadly, it took me a minute to get the funny thing. First comic that that’s ever happened. I am ashamed. On another point, who in the world teaches fax? you walk into class, “hello Mr. Fax Machine Sir,” drawls the class. what?

  9. Cthulcantspell says:

    0.o phone week. whoda thunk it’d be so very wierd.

  10. Tourn says:

    reason it only took 6 weeks was because he was completely immersed in it. :-p

  11. The Guy Who Never Uses The Same Name Twice says:

    What, does he now speak in binary?

  12. Seraphine says:

    Metal Matt said “2”
    and gummed up the Fax Machine,
    Thank you MM.

  13. The Moose says:

    Hey Chris,

    It’s not so much an English speaking country thing – ask for something to be labeled in French in the UK… Well, I’ll be standing behind cover, but with a good view. In Canada however, being as bilingual as we are, it is legally required that all packaging be printed in both official languages (punishable by tirades from angry Quebecois, I suppose). There are in fact all kinds of odd bilingualisms – I have a friend who got out of a parking ticked by speaking French to the mountie. RCMP are legally required to provide bilingual service, but naturally, out here in Alberta, not many can! But yes, I as well know the French word for riboflavin.

  14. RFPT says:

    I have a phone just like that…

    I chose to learn Italian. my mother speaks Italian, it seemed an obvious choice.

  15. MaskedMan says:

    I can speak Spanish, passibly enough. But only at random – It comes and it goes, and I’ve found myself speaking in Spanish at the damnedest times. Every time I realize I’ve done it, I lose my Spanish completely for a bit. It’s almost like a magic trick – Now you see it, now you don’t.

  16. Mosh says:

    I learned French in school (VERY badly) almost 20 years ago. I’ve just spent 5 months working in the French Alps and I’m surprised by how much of it came back to me. Being taught something is pointless unless you use it – that’s when you *really* learn!

  17. KMFPL says:

    In college, I decided to take French because I had taken Spanish from 3rd-10th grade. I figured, “How different can they be?” 😉

    But that’s not the odd part. My roommate, who took Russian in high school (in Orlando in the 80’s, figure that one out), was taking Japanese at the same time. We had some very interesting pentalingual conversations (and sometimes sextalingual when I’d throw in the ASL).

  18. JakeS says:

    I had a fax machine calling my cell phone every twenty minutes for about half a day once. Luckily I was at work so I was able to fax an angry note back to it.

  19. Diana M. says:

    I speak Portuguese,English and Spanish.And i’m learning French and Japanese :).

  20. Plankster says:

    I, too, have taken German, against the majority opinion of almost everyone…everywhere in America.

    German is still the most common language (after English, of course) spoken on the Continent (that’s Europe, if you couldn’t guess).

  21. Matthew says:

    German is a smart second language choice considering how much of West Europe is covered using the two… and then all of East Europe as well.

  22. Micah says:

    There was an episode of Seinfeld where Elaine kept getting calls and they were all fax machine noises. I think it was Kramer’s doings because Kramer thought she had a fax machine for some reason.

  23. no name says:

    Whoo hoo phone week. I like this week.

    @ Moose – I’m not really sure what RCMP means. Im guessing Royal Canadian Mounted Police?

  24. no name says:

    Sorry, I meant “The Moose”

  25. Reg says:

    I’d love to be able to speak fax. In the middle of class I can start screeching and making noises and only a select few in the class would be able to understand. You can also use it to end conversations over the phone and claim it was because of the fax machine!

  26. Randallphobia says:

    LazerWulf is right about Spanish in Texas. I speak just enough Spanish to get me into (& occasionally out of) trouble.
    Unfortunately, I know a lot of my fellow gringos who claim to speak English, but I don’t believe them.

  27. Pom Rania says:

    “There are in fact all kinds of odd bilingualisms – I have a friend who got out of a parking ticked by speaking French to the mountie. RCMP are legally required to provide bilingual service, but naturally, out here in Alberta, not many can!”
    That’s interesting. I live in southern Ontario, where they’d probably be able to understand and speak at least some French, but if I ever go out West, I’ll try that out. I’m functional in French; took it throughout high school and one semester of university; also was a month in Quebec.

  28. Boumama says:

    I have a few words here and there of Japanese for being a slight anime nut, and I retain enough high school Russin to be able to ask where the post office is, and to declare ‘I want to go to the toilet. I feel nauseous.’ In German, I can say that I cooked my hamster in the microwave and he tasted good, and in Yupik Eskimo, I can say what loosely translates to ‘kiss my @$$’, but is actually more specific and colorful translated literally…

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