Friday, November 25, 2005

Speaking the language

Last week at the doctor's office, I was proud of my ability to speak in a way that would be understood by the women behind the counter. What I said was, "Can I top up my cash card in the car park?" For you non-Singlish speakers, that translates to "Can I put more money on that little card that sticks in the doo-hickey on my dashboard and allows me to pay for parking automatically down in the parking lot?"

I've said it before - just because someone speaks English doesn't mean they speak your English. This morning in the furniture store I caught myself adopting a slight Singaporean accent so that I could be understood by the sales man (imagine combining a Chinese accent with an Indian one and you're about right). But I draw the line at this: In Coffee Bean this morning, Erik went to the counter and said, "Could I have a serviette?" (a napkin). I said, "I can't believe you said serviette." His response, "Hey, you gotta be understood." I know, but that word gives me the creeps.

No comments: