08 January 2014

Lost in Translation

This conversation is a bit old, but I still think it's worth sharing. :)

Awkward Stories - Learning a new language
Pretend this photo represents a birthday cake!


Just to give you a bit of background, I was at work and telling a colleague of mine about my birthday plans. Neither of us are native French speakers, so while we usually understand each other just fine, it sometimes takes a few tries to get things sorted out.

Note - This all happened in French.

Me: I've switched shifts on Friday, because my husband's taking me out for my birthday dinner. That means we'll be working together!

Sue (not her real name): I didn't know your birthday was on Friday.

Me: Yep. Sure is.

Sue (grinning from ear to ear): That's so exciting! Are you a virgin?!

Me: stunned silence.

Me: Um.... Well.... I'm a married woman.

More awkward silence.

Sue: Oh! No, no! I meant your sign!


Turns out she was talking about horoscopes, and in French there is no special word that means "Virgo". They just call them virgins, which is terribly, terribly awkward, in my opinion.


Virgo = Vierge 

Now you know and hopefully won't embarrass yourself as badly as I did.

I actually had known about this for a long time. I just wasn't expecting it to come up in conversation, and I'm not that into horoscopes. So even in English I don't think of myself in terms of Astrology. It was just awkward all around.

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