Tuesday, July 24, 2012

White Wine, a Confusing Case in Point

In our home countries, we are constantly absorbing information. Our brains piece all of it together into life perspectives. In this foreign land, all those bits of data are mostly unintelligible. Our TV makes sound, people say things and billboards have pictures but the foreign language doesn't compute. The result is a constant state of slight confusion. If you think you fully understand...just wait a minute or two.

白酒 (Báijiǔ) translates to "white wine." This commonly accepted translation is used very often. Sounds simple right? Wait a minute or two...

Looks delicious. Right?
A dinner host may ask your feelings about white wine. You might say it's very good...in moderation of course. Then he'll buy a full bottle and pour your glass full...at which point you've successfully cleared up some translational confusion. If he says "gan bei," you better sit your ass down - it's going to be a long night.

"I've made a huge mistake."

"White wine" is a dirty lie and the sooner you know, the better. A proper translation would be: "A hint of delicious. Followed by a deeply radiant burn. Followed by assistance getting your key in the front door."

1 comment:

  1. You lead such a life of danger. A lovely little public service post, Clif. THANKS!