Lost in Transatlanticlation

Peter Maniam Issue: Section:

"Fortunately no vehicles were injured in this debacle"

So 3 weeks in Doha was a truly international experience. Working with people from Qatar, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines and Indonesia, it was perhaps inevitable that the biggest language barrier I would face would be with the Yanks. They’ve done a great job of messing up our words since we first sent them over.

No sooner had I landed, catching up with Brendan - my friend, and colleague for the trip, he asked if we have Vajazzling in the UK yet? ‘No, but we have Twattooing ‘. And so it began…

You say tomato we say tomato. You say baTon, we say BA-ton – simple enough. But over the walkie, and in the midst of intense traffic directing, it goes like this, ‘I need a BA-ton’, ‘a what?’, ‘A baTon’, ‘a what?’, cue a poor American accent, ‘A baTon’, ‘ahhhh, a baTon’. Fortunately no vehicles were injured in this debacle.

When I’m ‘shitting myself’ it means I’m frightened. It doesn’t mean that I need to get to the nearest Bathroom (wait a minute, I don’t see a bath in this room- ohhhh, that’s because it’s the Toilet) to change my pants and by pants I mean underwear not my trousers.

I hope you have found this helpful and practical. When you are next in the UK, sat in the car being directed by men with batons, shitting your pants because you are worried about that twatooing appointment, I’m sure it may be.

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