Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Choked-in-translation

I have just got off the phone with a roofing guy who is Polish. Luckily he speaks passable Russian, and I can sort of understand Polish by the way of slightly understanding Ukranian (thanks to my too buddies at work who are born and raised in Kiev).

As i asked him when he's going to show up, he said something alike 2-3 godiny(GOH-DEE-NIH, I don't even know how to transcribe the last sound). I almost choked on my last sip of coffee. You see in Russian the root god (GO-HD, short and sharp OH sound) denotes a YEAR. It took me a full minute to remember that in Ukranian godina means an hour (chas (CH-UH-S) in Russian).

I guess living in Chicago means you have to understand Polish, or at least it helps a long way.

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