Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Lost In Translation

Occasionally I wonder if my son and I speak the same language..... Only last week I innocently wished him good luck for his French Oral exam...his reaction was to snigger and inform me that it's now called a Spoken exam [that's my annual subscription to the Embarrassing Parents Club automatically renewed then]. Lately he's taken to coming in from college and after having confirmed to him that our days have been fine he confusingly answers "sick". Now my understanding of that particular word is that it either means you're unwell or something is horrid in a toe curlingly awful way. To him I find it means simply good. This led me to ponder on whether this is a new phenomenon....

The short answer is "no". Take the word "wicked"- it first came into usage in the 1920s to mean evil yet I quite happily use it both this way but also if something is amazing. It's all down to context and if applicable, tone of voice and facial expression. Other words which personally amuse me for their starkly different meanings are agitate, broadcast and petrified. I am sure there are more.....

For now though rather than carry out my own research via the Urban dictionary I shall continue to ask the teen to translate into my Old Fossil version of our native tongue!

Arilx

2 comments:

  1. My niece is a teacher in Australia. Her students have recently described her as : 'deadly' and 'swag'. Both mean good or cool apparently!

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  2. Thanks for your comment Carole R. The teen has also referred to having "swag". I'd forgotten about that one!
    Arilx

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