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A lesson from the Brits


Full disclosure: I'm not the adventurous type. But when our summer flight from Israel to the States had a layover in England, I went along with my husband's plan to extend our stay for a few hours and take in the sights. Our former colonizers do have adorable accents, and you might be excused for assuming that we speak the same language. Even if they do say "way out" instead of "exit", announce "mind the gap" to warn train travelers alighting onto the platform, and serve "salt beef" on the menu, causing non-adventurous me to order a smoked turkey sandwich and miss out on the hot corned beef sandwich my husband enjoyed. (True story: an acquaintance of ours married a Briton, and when visiting her in-laws her new husband spilled a glass of water on himself. She exclaimed: "his pants are wet! He needs a napkin!" Not knowing that translates into British as "His underwear is wet, he needs a diaper.") You may have noticed that sometimes it feels like you and your husband are, well, speaking a different language - am I right? So it sometimes helps to remember that, while lots of the words sound the same, your husband hears them differently than you intended. Some examples?

  • You say: "Do you want to stop for a drink"? And you really mean "I want to stop for a drink", right? But your husband says "No" and keeps driving

  • You ask, "Did you like Mrs. Cohen's cooking better than mine?" And your husband, thinking you are asking for information, says, "Yes!"

  • You say, "If 9:00. Shouldn't you leave for Maariv?" and your husband hears, "I don't trust you to take care of your own responsibilities."

  • You say "It's fine." (Need I say more?)

Solutions?

Well, awareness is the first step.

Education and Translation are some others.


As our Anglo-speaking brethren say...

Mind the Gap.


What translation differences have you noticed in YOUR marriage? I'd love to hear!

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