Friday, February 15, 2008

vegetables and bullies

Not all languages use the same sounds, as I’m sure you are all aware.  Anyone who has taken French or Spanish knows that the “r” sound in those languages is a bit different than the one in American English.


Well, this week we ran across a funny mis-pronunciation in English as a result of language sounds.  The mother tongue of this particular person doesn’t have a strong “v” sound, so sometimes “v”s come out sounding more like “w”s.  As she was saying that she “needs to eat more veggies” it came out sounding more like she “needs to eat more wedgies.”  After her American friend picked her self up off the floor from laughing, she explained that you can’t really eat wedgies ~ it’s actually something that schoolkids in the States do to each other.  Hearing the description of a “wedgie,” the non-native English speaker was rather horrified at this activity. Her American friend had to go on to explain that this is something that bullys do to be mean, it’s not a socially acceptable custom.  I hadn’t thought before about the fact that people in different cultures would work out their bullying in different fashions ~ oh, the things I’m learning!

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