Friday, 6 November 2009

Lost in Translation

A little while back The Potty Diaries ran a great post detailing the differences between what you say and what you mean. You know those times when you say 'no problem' when actually it is been a massive pain in the backside or 'no, really, it's fine' when it so isn't.

These Lost In Translation moments are just magnified when you have children ('come along now darling!' actually meaning we've been here looking at that squished bug for 20 minutes and we have to get home pretty soon as I've something in the oven and my brain is contorting with having the same conversation with a toddler 50 times in the last 10 minutes). And then there are the misunderstandings that come from not actually speaking the language of the country in which you live moments too.

Anyhow, here are a few of my what I said and what it actually meant moments. Feel free to add some of your own.

To my children: 'it's ok, I'll take your back pack for you' = can you not see how much I'm already carrying? I've got 2 scooters, a back pack, my bag, a dog on a lead and I need 2 hands free to hold you two whilst crossing the road. Why didn't you leave your sodding backpack in the car like I told you to?

To the local police force who have just pulled me over: 'ne razumijem (I don't understand)' = I understand you well enough but if you want to pull over a car with English Licence plates for no reason whatsoever then you had better be able to speak enough English to explain why.

To my children: 'Won't playing Snakes and Ladders be such fun!' = I hate this bloody game. It is one of the most dull board games ever invented. I can't wait for you to be old enough to get involved in some decent board games and play cards properly too. Then we'll have fun.

To Nursery: 'Oh, so you've changed Luke's trousers because they got a tiny microscopic splash of water on them?' = Have you not seen my laundry pile??? These trousers aren't even wet. There is a one outfit of clothes per day rule in this house, however dirty they get, unless there is vomit, poo or are totally sodden. This doesn't even come close to qualifying!

To the ladies in the bakers: 'Ha ha ha!' = I have absolutely no idea what you just said. But you were definitely just talking about my husband, and I think you mentioned sex so I totally don't want to know what you are asking. I'll just smile, laugh a bit and hope to get out of here before you try to continue this conversation.

To any visitors: 'I think we've run out of Poppadoms' = They are ours! All ours! We don't hand them out to anyone, particularly those who might not appreciate how nice they are. Get your mitts off them and don't even think about coming close to the mango chutney.

To my children: 'What happened in here?' = Bloody Hell! it looks like a bomb exploded in here! How is it possible to make so much mess in the time it took me to pop to the loo. I should have known you were up to something when I wasn't disturbed for the whole loo moment. How on earth am I going to get nail varnish off the walls?

To the Primary Schools Admissions Teams in the UK: 'Yes, I know that we applied last year for entry this year, but the situation has changed and we don't actually live in the UK at the moment and I am informing you of our future plans.' = Are you seriously telling me that every person who has ever had a child that was sent to primary school has only ever moved house over the summer and has never been in a different school system? Life has a tendency not to fit in with your regulations so just deal with it and be thankful that I am calling you early to discuss this rather than phoning you and wanting a place in the next month. By the way, is being particularly difficult and a real jobsworth a prerequisite to employment in the council or have I just been unlucky in my dealings with you all?

To the Bosnian Authorities: 'which piece of paper is it that you need stamped again?' = **%%*^&E$$$*&$*$*&"&£*&£$(%$(£&!

To my children: 'No you can't have any chocolate, it's just before dinner and it isn't good for you' = it's mine, all mine.

To Adam: 'Yes, vegetables are really good for you, they are what Sporticus likes to eat. No, there aren't any vegetables in this tomato sauce' = There so are veggies in that sauce, but I have blitzed them into a creamy state in a hopeless attempt to get something healthy into you, but you don't appear to be buying into this idea. Just eat the bloody food will you, it does actually taste really good. Thank God for Lukey tucking into his no problem otherwise I really would be worrying about my ability to cook anything at all.

To Dave: 'I think I'm just a bit tired.' = I'm absolutely shattered and am hoping that is why I am behaving like a total witch rather than because I am a total witch.

To the boys: 'Just do what I say' = just do what I say. Preferably RIGHT NOW, before I have to ask you for the thousandth time in 5 minutes and before I lose the plot completely. Generally it is to stop you from hurting yourself, your brother or me, occasionally it is to stop you breaking something that isn't ours. But life would be a lot easier if you just did it. First time of asking.

Anyone else got some to add?

21 comments:

The wife of bold said...

I so relate to almost all of your hiden meanings what is is with nusery staff and the odd bob of paint - i suppose they're all 19 still living at home and have never had to worry about laundry or mountanous piles! Oh and being is jobsworth is absoloutely a prerequisite for any council related jobs and also any independant dental practices and GPs!d

The wife of bold said...

I so relate to almost all of your hiden meanings what is is with nusery staff and the odd bob of paint - i suppose they're all 19 still living at home and have never had to worry about laundry or mountanous piles! Oh and being is jobsworth is absoloutely a prerequisite for any council related jobs and also any independant dental practices and GPs!d

gaelikaa said...

Oh, there is so many I couldn't begin to tell you....

Catharine Withenay said...

I like the one about chocolate in particular.

I also tell the children to get out of the kitchen whilst I cook dinner ... because how else will I sneak a packet of crisps without them knowing and demanding the same for themselves?

Laruca said...

I only employ the ne razumijem with nice people (like your bakery setting:)). Any type of authority figure just gets a blank stare and a 'sorry don't understand' from me. They usually leave it.

nappy valley girl said...

How about to my husband (in response to how was your day?): Fine. (Well except for the three tantrums, the being accused of putting 'yucky' wraps in a lunchbox, four year old wetting himself when he's supposedly been toilet trained for a year, two year old's standoff during supper over 'yucky' pieces of chicken, and his absolute refusal to get in the bath..)

I so relate to the nursery one. Not so much now but their old nursery was forever changing them because they had a single spot of soup on a pair of trousers. Whereas I would happily let them go for a whole weekend in food-encrusted clothing...

Teacher Mommy said...

Ha. Yeah. This makes total sense. And you ended up inspiring my blog post for today, which hopefully means there will be some humor over there in place of the more usual (lately) woe-is-me-blah-blah-blah. Dark humor, but humor nevertheless. So thank you VERY much for that!

(((hugs)))

London City Mum said...

Any of my conversations with Smurf Witch or others at B'Stard Company would qualify here...
As to the kids and family, hey, we speaka da same language FM!

LCM x

TheMadHouse said...

I feel you, infact I relate to most of that apart from the nursery and the foreign but.

I think I need to add something about Mail dealer garages or Main Stealers are they are now called in TheMadHouse, but I darnt start, maybe on a dear so and so letter

goonerjamie said...

Absolutely hilarious. My own oft used one is "No honey, the kids have been fine all day" meaning "I have had them sat in front of Playhouse Disney, whilst I waste my time on twitter, only pausing to occasionally throw food at them".
Thank God she neither blogs nor tweets.

Michelloui said...

Oh no, these are really funny! You should start a meme with these 'what I really meant was...' moments. Very good.

Lady Mama said...

Haha! So true. I head myself saying things and meaning another more and more lately. The worst is when I'm in public and I'm trying to pretend to be calm and collected, while really I'm on my last shred of sanity about to explode. Ah fun times. Those bakery ladies sound scary.

ck said...

I have a feeling that "I hate this bloody game," will translate in every single language forever and ever as long as games like "Snakes and Ladders" and "Chutes and Ladders" and Barbies exist.

PS: You're right, it gets SO much better once they can play cards!

Great post!

Hot Cross Mum said...

Genius post! It's all so true. My favourite is "Oh boys will be boys, you know, they're just so full of mischief" = "Just you bloody wait until I get you two home, you are in SO much trouble for what you just did".

Belle_Lulu said...

As I am a truly terrible mother I have long since abandoned all pretense towards politeness towards or about my children. I have no partner to pretend to, and my poor Ma just gets it in the neck whatever.

I guess what I'm really saying is: Well done all of you for making the effort. I'd like to but I just can't be bothered anymore. Sorry!

Belle_Lulu said...

Oh and it would also appear that I'm far too "towards". Ho hum!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

WoB - Exactly! May the nursery staff understand laundry piles soon, mine is in a shocking state!

Gaelikka - start! start!

CW - real case of do what I say not what I do going on in this household.

Laruca - not speaking the language can be ever so helpful sometimes!


NVG - exactly! I say I'm boosting their immunes system to deal with dirt.

TM - glad you liked it. Loved your post too. x

LCM - oh yes, we do indeed.

MH - dear so and so is a great way to let off steam. Do it!

GJ - You are getting away with it. Respect!

Michelleoui - we could do a whole thing on British/American lost in translation moments. The pissed = drunk vs. pissed = cross always gets me.

LM - The bakery ladies have gone a bit mad recently. They think I am hilarious. I have no idea why!

ck - gotta get them into cards as soon as possible. Snakes and Ladders is rotting my brain.

HCM - Oh I have that moment too! Most days.

BL - We all aspire to be you... I'd love to lose that British reserve thing.

Iota said...

Love them. Esp the one in the bakery!

kenanddot said...

Me to husband: "We need to buy Hugh less chocolate" meaning "YOU need to buy Hugh less chocolate"...

Dot

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Iota - it was a surreal conversation. They thought it was hilarious. I still am not quite sure what they were actually talking about...

KenandDot - ah yes, the old we need to gambit. Often employed in this household.

Babies who brunch said...

V funny. Haven't quite got there yet because am still (or at least I think I am) at the stage when I can just about rant at my 17 month old without him really truly realising what I'm saying so I just tell him how annoying he is.

But, with every one else: 'Fine.' Which, obviously, ALWAYS means anything but. Even though I claim it doesn't....

Great post.