Monday, November 21, 2011

Using a Torch to find the Dustbin- Updated x3

The two official languages in Lesotho are English and Sesotho. This is an English speaking post, so diplomats are not required to learn Sesotho. This implies you can get along with English with no problem. That is not exactly so. They speak British English with random Afrikaans words thrown in.

The first couple months were surprisingly difficult. We had to retrain our brains to use synonyms. Not just one synonym for a word, but several in one sentence. It is no uncommon to say something like this, "Can you please take the trash can, rubbish bin, dust bin, garbage pail out tuesday morning?" If I use them all in one sentence it saves me the effort of creating four different sentences.

This was difficult for Teddy at first. He could not understand why he was misunderstood. He has quickly moved to British English and that also works well. I am just not that adaptable after all these years. Yesterday, he was carrying his (actually Josie's) light up turtle around testing out the new blackout curtains, calling it his "torch", flashlight to us American's.

I have been keeping a mental list of words, so the list is as long as my mental capacity, but enjoy.

trash can- dustbin
flashlight- torch
faucet- tap
bill- till (restaurant)
counter clockwise- anticlockwise
closet- cupboard
living room- lounge
24 hour clock- they speak in 12 hour clock, but write 24
baby crib- cot
pacifier- dummy
period end of sentence/thought- full stop
extra large supermarket, like target greatland (is that what we used to call it?)- hyper
traffic lights- robots (seriously, at the third robot turn left. the first time we looked for real robots)
cookies- biscuits (seems obvious, but I was thrown by it again today)
vegetable- veg (as in veg garden)
bad behavior - naughty (as in "teddy was naughty at school")
chocolate- sweets or bonbons
bbq- braai
credit card- normal
atm card- budget

I am not even going to begin to talk about the differences in schooling and school terms here.

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