Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lost In Translation

I don't believe I have ever posted this story. If I have, sorry. Hope you enjoy.

As I have said before, my great-grandparents never learned to speak English--despite the fact they lived here in the US for over 60 years. Actually, they really didn't need to learn, as they lived in a part of the country where a great many Finnish people lived. (The UP of Michigan has the largest concentration of Finnish people outside of Finland.) This didn't cause too many problems for them, unless they were confronted with the telephone.

My g-grandfather never used the telephone very often. I'm not sure if it was because of his lack of being able to speak English or a distrust of technology. There were, however, times when he HAD to answer the phone. He had quite a unique way of doing this. The phone would ring, he would pick up the receiver and announce, "Nobody home." (in an EXTREMELY thick Finnish accent), and hang up. End of phone call.

Great-grandma, however, used the phone every day. With her love of gossip, I don't believe she could have been apart from the phone for an entire day. She did fine, usually. And one day she had trouble. For some reason, she wasn't dialing the number she wanted correctly--she kept getting the recorded message "The number you want cannot be completed as dialed. Please dial the operator for assistance." After getting this message several times in a row, g-grandma got extremely frustrated, screamed in the phone "I don't give a shit your sister," and banged the receiver down. Obviously, she mistook 'assistance' for 'sister' and let the 'operator' know, in no uncertain terms, that she really doesn't care.

7 comments:

ordinaryjanet said...

Yup, that's lost in translation!

ordinaryjanet said...

p.s. Happy New Year!

cmk said...

:D

Happy New Year to you, too!

Ranger Tom said...

Happy New Year!

cmk said...

Happy New Year, Tom. So sorry about the Flyers! :(

meleah rebeccah said...

Okay, that story CRACKED ME UP!

cmk said...

Even though she died when I was around 8 years old, I can STILL imagine her doing this! And it cracks ME up, too.