Two little misunderstandings that happened on two different blogs, just because of a culture gap. No matter how long you’ve been speaking a language, there are always littles stories or songs or fairy tales that you haven’t been exposed to when you were little.
When my daughter was born, I found that I was totally hopeless at teaching her the songs and rhymes that every French child knows. Just because my mother was born in Poland, speaking either Polish or Russian or Yiddish, she didn’t teach me those songs and rhymes, and I never went to school until I was seven, so what I would have learnt there, just passed me by.
So I bought songbooks and cassettes, and taught Julie and myself the songs and rhymes that make you a French speaking child.
To come back to my original subject, the other day, I posted this photo of an elder at my French blog, with a caption that said: Anne, ma soeur Anne, ne vois-tu rien venir ? (Anne, sister Anne, do you see anyone coming?)
Anyone brought up in France, at least in my time, or who is my daughter 😉 would know right away that this is a line that comes from Barbe-Bleue, (Bluebeard), a fairy-tale by Charles Perrault, and would probably even know the following lines. But not my English born friend who commented, saying that she didn’t know I had a sister. 🙂
I changed the caption on my blog, since I aim at being understood!
The funny thing is that on that same day, I had the same experience at Walt‘s blog, with a post entitled Help Me, Mr Lizard The title was cryptic to me and even more so the tagline that said
Drizzle, drazzle, druzzle, drome, time for this one to come home ! Nothing that rang a bell. I googled it and landed on Tooter Turtle at Wikipedia. In this case, another of Walt’s readers, too young to have ever seen Tooter Turtle made Walt give precisions.
Tooter Turtle was a short cartoon back in the days before your parents were old enough to date. In each episode, Mr. Wizard granted his wish to be somebody he was not and it always ended badly. He yelled, “Mister Wizard, help !” and Mr. Wizard would bring him magically back to safety and scold him for wanting to be other than what he was.
Culture gaps are not quite as common as new words, in my experience, but they are just as enjoyable.