Humble Arabian Pie anyone?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Star*, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911

    So it's not a huge secret I love languages. Every opportunity in meeting someone foreign I always ask "How do you say?" and then commit it to memory (best as I can anymore)

    So I'm at the register at the little dollar store (job #2) and a woman walks in with a pink shawl on her head. At first glance I thought it was her hair. Further inspection of her said to me she was perhaps foreign. I thought perhaps she was Arabian - and would later try to impress her with my spoken Arabian words. The only ones I ever learned.

    I used to work for a man who was from UAE. His wife taught me how to say "I love my husband." because there was a prince from Kuwait that used to come in where I worked hell bent on taking me to a foreign land as a wife (no thank you). So I memorized it. It's the ONLY Arabic I know.

    So I figured I would IMPRESS her with my knowledge of HER language. And as she and this man were conversing I asked where she was from and he said "Saudi Arabia. Why do you know other saudis?" and I said "No but I knew a man from UAE and a Kuwait prince wanted to marry me years ago. I even know a little ARabic." and I proceeded to impress this couple with Enta Habibi.....

    Well - Here's a lesson we can all learn from kids - because her eyes nearly bugged out of her head. And me in my excitement thought it was because I had made her feel welcome and comfortable and I was trying to communicate....and I felt so good. And then he said something to her and she snapped back at first and then I said "DId I say something wrong?" and he was laughing and I'm standing there blinking....and he said "Enta Habibi means - HE is my LOVER."

    WELL YOU CAN NOT POSSIBLY imagine the embarrassment I felt at that moment. Other customers in line were giggling, I was nearly as red as a tomato - and my blushing actually told her that I had said something I didn't mean, and then I told him - NO NO - and pointed to my engagement ring.....and she laughed, he laughed and I wanted to crawl under a rock.

    He said "She said to tell you thank you for a good laugh." And I said 'Please tell her I am sorry, I just wanted to say something ANYTHING in ARabic BUT THAT!" and they left laughing.

    I wanted to die - and I'm not likely to live it down either - the lady in line said my blushing was so innocent and cute - and the manger said - All those people you speak to in foreign languages - maybe you should stick to

    So when the Chinese guy came in last night and I said Hello and Thank you in English he asked me in broken English if I was feeling okay and why I wasn't speaking Chinese - and I didn't have the heart or the words to explain it. And Russian? The gal said that Hello sounds like Pikachu - I'm not even going there. lol

    But I promise - NO MORE
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    But if you stuck to English, I would lose the opportunity to be completely confused by your captions!
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Now Star, don't let it scare you off. And as it turns out you gave them a good chuckle. Still, I'm sure they were impressed that an american cared enough to learn something in their native language. I know I find it impressive. :)

    The first thing we learned about American Sign Language (ASL) is that it's not just the language but a whole culture you're trying to learn. Doesn't take long before you see it either. And you're not just talking with your hands, but your facial expression, your gaze, tilt of the head and how you position your body as well. Some days I feel like I'm in an acting class.. lol

    Second thing we learned was how to tell someone we are students. BABY students. :rofl: That way if we attempt to talk to someone who is hearing impaired or deaf and we make a huge blunder they'll correct it and laugh instead of being insulted. Because we are incouraged to take every opportunity to use ASL when it arises. And in later quarters it will be required.

    I dunno how far I plan to take ASL. (it's 6 quarters long) But I know I love it as much as I did as a kid. And it sure beats trying to speak a foreign language. I did awful in Spanish. lol ;)
  4. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Star, I'm trying to....pigsnort.....


    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    Sorry...I'm laughing WITH you, not AT you. *wiping the tears from my eyes*
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    What? :wildone:

    Oh No! :916blusher::nonono: I didn't mean that!

    Where's a bag? :bag: Big enough to live in!

    What will people think? :rofl:

    Guess I need to wait until they stop laughing to ask.

    ps: I am still impressed with your ability to pick up languages. I am with Daisy and sign language - I took 82 hours of it in votech because I can not pronounce any words (even my native English). My easy child is good with languages though.
  6. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    Only you, Star:bravo:
  7. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Thanks for a laugh today!!! I needed it.
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Rofl! I love that you know so much about languages so if you goofed once-no biggie!
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    There is another language lover here -

    Must change my icelandic monkier for her and do something in (Not gonna tell you ya little puzzle child you)

    Yeah all I can say is yeeeeee owwwwwww. Seriously when was the last time you said "He's my lover!" in ANY language....

    uh huh - only me......pie is good....mmmmmmm mmmmmm:laugh:
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Just the fact that you tried! Huge. I try to speak to all of the mostly SPanish speaking people here in Southern Arizona. i get mad at myself that I can't speak more fluently!
    But I can admit that I mess it up, ALOT! I am actually looking right now at classes at the community college. Spanish and then who knows!?
  11. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Oh Star. I swear you are an amazing individual. In one fell swoop you make me laugh cry and hurt. At least you tried. So many wouldn't. And truth be told I don't think I have ever said that sentence in any language.

  12. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I think I'll stick to English, thank you. I struggle enough with that one.

    I am getting some of my old German/Polish back trying to read these customer's last names. Geez. "Thank you, Mr. Zckrkwszozcski! Have a great day!"

  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    beth? You are welcome - thank you ;)

    Abbs - Um - all you have to do (I went to school with a load of Polish kids and x was of that heritage) is say it real fast like this

    THANK YOU (emphasis on YOU) Mister.....then cough and say KEY at the end.
  14. janie

    janie New Zealand

    Hi there Star ....
    I giggled when I read your post :)
    I love to learn how to say greetings in other languages.
    Whenever I meet anyone from another country I ask them how to say "hello"or "goodbye"...
    I used to be a homestay mum for students from several different countries.
    They would stay with me for anything from several weeks - to a year or two.
    I learnt so many different phrases ....
    Two of my part time jobs are in retail ... so when I have a tourist as a customer I will greet them in their language .... the look of surprise that crosses their faces is priceless :)
    The only problem is when they reply and talk too fast in their own language expecting me to understand every single word! :)
    I would dearly love to travel and visit other cultures.
  15. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Star, you post cracked me up. I wanted to share 2 language stories with you.

    First is baby brother who went to the Border Patrol. Obviously you must be bilingual if stationed on the southern border. He passed the language proficiency part but in the heat of a capture, he ordered them to remove their shoes(guess this is policy) When one of the guys looked startled, baby brother sheepishly said to his partner "I just asked them to take off their underpants didn't I?" No wonder they looked nervous. I don't think we have let baby bro forget that one. He eventually transferred out of the BiPolar (BP).

    Second, just this week, as I entered the parking lot at the end of the trail walk with the pups, I see an elderly woman about mom's age (81) walking with her son and d il sort of holding her up. She looked somewhat frail. The old woman was obviously speaking rapidly in another language but I got the impression it was about the puppies. I took HS over towards her so she could pet.(HS is the ambassador. CB may think about ripping a finger off if they rub his ears) Anyhow the son and mom were speaking a foreign language that I recognized. They confirmed it was Slovak. I recited for them a Christmas Poem the Slovakian nuns made us memorize when I was 10 yrs old. This is 43 yrs ago mind you. We went from house to house of the slovakian bubba's who spoke no English to recite this poem. Usually to tears and hugs by the bubba's.
    So back to the couple who got a chuckle out of the religious holiday poem but more so that I remembered it this many years. I assured them that once I knew what it meant but no more. They seemed tickled. Afterwards, I figured they thought I was nuts but the granny smooshed my cheeks and thanked me for letting her pet my puppies. She said how beautiful and clean they were. (translated by son) My mom would have commented on their cleanliness too. They probably went home and wondered what the heck I was saying.
    I thought I was making them feel at home since I knew how to pronounce about 50 words strung into sentences but who knows.
    It's not as good as saying "he is my lover" but maybe I will learn those words in another language too. Just in case I meet someone who doesn't speak english.

    Thanks for the laugh.
  16. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    I too love trying other languages and have had a few of those blunders. Keep going! Hello in Russian is not Pikachu (LOL) it is Privyet (Pree-vee-yet), emphasis on the first syllable.
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Fran -

    THe underpants story is the funniest thing I have heard in YEARS - OMG I can't wait to tell the girls at work I'm not the only one that says funny things. As for the Slovokian woman and saying that poem for her? That touched my heart as I'm sure it did hers. And of course our HS - such a communication barrier breaker!

    JJJ - YES oh gosh that was it - Prevyette!! THATS IT!!! THanks - the girl that told me was absolutely stunning - and had such a lovely personality. Here's what was odd - She's Russian, I'm American but.....we both could speak enough French to communicate - and I found myself spending the rest of the evening thinking that life was odd, and even though we all couldn't speak ONE language - the fact that we found a language we both could speak in that was NOT our native one was amazing to me.

    I've purchased Rosetta Stone and its not helpful - I'm doing on line studies now through the BBK and they are MUCH better. And FREE!
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ohhh, Star and Fran, you made me laugh and it hurt my stitches. Oooouuuchieeeeee!
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I read Frans story to my family and now I think THEY will need an adjustment Terry - OMG can you SEE the looks on the guys' faces?
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    husband & I were 22 when we married. We went to Malaysia for our honeymoon, flying in to Singapore for the second week. We'd just come from a very detailed security/customs search unheard of back in those days - to leave Penang all our luggage was searched in our presence, we had to handle everything in case it was boobytrapped or something, guards carrying machine guns at the ready were standing there watching and pointing what they wanted us to do next. husband had to open up his tubes of shaving cream, we had to open every bottle of shampoo, husband's camera bag came in for close inspection, he even had to take his telephoto lens apart. And it wasn't just us - there was a long queue of people all having to do this. Only then could we have our luggage sent to the plane and then wait, with just our hand luggage, in a tiny little whitewashed room where a lazy ceiling fan rearranged the humidity... so by the time we finally arrived in Singapore I was feeling very nervous. Compared to Penang (as it was back then) Singapore was white, shiny, large, efficient. A polite but firm guard approached me and asked, "Do you have any secrets?"


    He repeated his question even more insistently. "Do you have any secrets to declare?"

    OK, we were just married. Was he wanting me to unburden myself about perhaps the depraved sexual practices of the newly married Westerner, perhaps?

    Then he mimed smoking. "Any secrets?" he repeated. "Sec-a-rets?"

    Aah. Cigarettes! The light switched on. "No, sorry, I don't smoke." I began to walk past. He firmly stopped me. It wasn't a guard trying to cadge a cigarette, it was a Customs inspection.

    Fortunately, he had a sense of humour because by then my nerves were frayed.