Sunday, September 10, 2006

Master of My (Semantic) Domain

Sample questions I understood at church today:
  • Sister Hannah, would you mind sharing us with us your testimony of the importance of genealogical work, especially how it pertains to temple attendance?

  • Can you please play the opening song for us? We'd like to sing "Families Can Be Together Forever."

  • Who, truly, can doubt the Lord when he says that he will do nothing except he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets?
Sample questions I misunderstood at church today:
  • What is your full name?

  • How long will you be in Semarang?

  • What month were you born?
No prizes for guessing where I currently get most of my Indonesian language practice.


Tolkien Boy said...

I'm waiting for the punch line after your full name...what did you think they said, "What's your bull's name?"?

Steven said...

Now you know what it's like to be a missionary. You can expound for hours on deep doctrinal points, but can't talk about every-day things, like simple household chores, politics, sports, etc. It's very frustrating at times!

Petra said...

TB: Indonesian has about a billion different words for "you," but rarely uses any of them. Instead, it's more polite to refer to the person you're addressing in the third person; thus the actual question posed to me was, "What's her full name?" Since we had just been discussing the woman I live with, I assumed, erroneously, that "her" referred to, well, her. I answered with "I can't remember," and they all looked at me strangely. It took a few seconds for the ball to drop, when I finally answered my own full name. I've seen this third-person for second-person sleight of hand pulled a thousand times now, and I still fall for it every time.

Melyngoch said...

No prizes?

There are never prizes when I'm right.