Friday, August 31, 2007

Lack of linguistic command

As I stood at the platform awaiting the detestable trenino (commuter train) to Tiburtina, I had the pleasure of overhearing this amusing conversation. ***Note to non-Italian speakers: this probably won't be that funny to you.

Big Fat American Woman (BFAW): So you said you work in a bank, what exactly is your position there?

Dorky Italian Boy (DIB): Is very difficult to explain. In Italy bank have different mansions.

BFAW: Ohhh, the banks have mansions? Is that so?

DIB: Very different from rest of world.

BFAW: I see. But what do you do?

DIB: Uhhh, how do you say? I make the contability.

BFAW: You make what?

DIB: The contability...

BFAW: Countability?

DIB: I make numbers (he mimes typing on a calculator).

BFAW: Oh you work with numbers... you're an accountant! That's a very good job.

DIB: Yes, is good.

The End

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too funny! I love it when people just go ahead and translate "false friends" in Italian directly into English.

I wonder why the dorky Italian boy thinks Italian banks are so unique?

Kataroma

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

:) false friends can be funny...

I once heard an American explain to an Italian how American food has more preservatives...

but in Italian "i preservativi" has an embarrasangly different meaning! oops!