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11 Comments

  • The question of which colour represents X-rated in different languages is an interesting one. In Spanish, it’s green, rather than blue or yellow, so a ‘viejo verde’ (direct translation ‘green man’) actually means ‘dirty old man’.

  • I loved the way you did it imitating the style of Bill Bryson, one of my favourite pages in this book!

    Lovely post Jamie!

  • Hi Marisa
    Thanks!
    It was fun to write this and I like Bill Bryson’s style talking about the differences between languages.

  • An acquaintance of mine was speaking in a second language and so could be forgiven for confusing words that mean the same thing or are derived from each other in different languages. She meant to say that the women in her family had a history of (breast) cancer. Instead she told her interlocutors that the women in her family had a history of crabs.

    In French, brown sugar is most often called cassonade, but can also be called sucre roux; roux translates to russet- or ginger-coloured.

  • Oh what delightful observations! Please keep ’em coming Jamie. Look forward to reading more.

  • I’m back to China now after being delayed by the volcano ash.
    I found that I started to say ‘thank you’ a lot to my family.They don’t like it as close friends or relatives in China don’t use this as much as the British do. It’s kind of reversed culture shock.

    Jamie Zhang