Talking Wildely

11 Jan

I read this Oscar Wilde quote today:

We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.

He was a bit of a bitch, wasn’t he?

The quote reminded me of an Anglo-EU Translation Guide I once read.  I thought you might enjoy it.

English to American translation

47 Responses to “Talking Wildely”

  1. Marion Driessen January 11, 2012 at 11:38 #

    Very amusing 😀


  2. Kate Kresse January 11, 2012 at 11:53 #

    it all makes sense to me now :-). Malteser time!


  3. viv blake January 11, 2012 at 12:01 #

    Are you talking widely or wildly? (Do I hear you groan?) I agree with all of them except Quite Good: Americans read that as excellent. I have sometimes queried comments on my blog because I thought they were damning with faint praise, whereas they were really complimenting me!


  4. speccy January 11, 2012 at 12:03 #

    Never mind the translation for EU- that reads remarkably like a manager I used to have… I had to learn to translate her ‘very interesting’ and realise that she thought I was crazy rather than brave 😦


  5. creatingreciprocity January 11, 2012 at 12:04 #

    Just as in Ireland if you ask us to do something that we really have no intention of doing and in fact are probably insulted to be even asked our answer appears to be in the affirmative – e.g.
    “Would you like me to punch you in the head?
    “Sure, yeah, go ahead I’d love that.”
    The problem is, just like the English answers, to fully understand them one needs to be well versed in sarcastic tones and the arch of the eye-brow.


  6. vixytwix January 11, 2012 at 12:27 #

    Oh, that’s brilliant! (And in Australia, that really means it’s good 🙂 )


  7. alienhippy January 11, 2012 at 12:33 #

    I found the table very helpful Tilly thank you!
    Folks wonder why us literal thinking Aspie/Auties struggle with communication.
    Need I say more.
    Love and hugs my friend.
    Lisa. xx 🙂


  8. Hanna January 11, 2012 at 12:48 #

    Aah… I hear what you say…
    Xixixi 🙂


  9. colonialist January 11, 2012 at 14:45 #

    So true! Reminds me, in turn, of any sentence beginning with, ‘I don’t want to …’ (worry you, or be insulting, or insinuate that you don’t know what you are doing etc) Translation: ‘I have every intention to …”


  10. Big Al January 11, 2012 at 15:24 #

    My comment: “Great post!”

    What you think I mean: “She’s done it again, she’s the most brilliant blogger ever!”

    What I really meant: “This is her lamest post yet. I can’t believe she thinks I don’t understand exactly what she means. She obviously doesn’t know I’m a charter member of The Mensa Society.”


    • Tilly Bud January 15, 2012 at 14:27 #

      I’m glad you cleared that up.

      Guess what I really mean??


  11. laurieanichols January 11, 2012 at 15:32 #

    Us poor Americans always saddled with the translator books why can’t everyone just speak English like we do in America?


  12. SchmidleysScribbling January 11, 2012 at 15:34 #

    I really enjoy listening to your Parliament on C-SPAN. I expect a brawl to break out at anytime.

    PS You wouln’t like it if I stayed with you, I am a fairly but not nutty conservative and we might get into an argument. Actually, being an American that means I am a Liberal which is NOT a Socialist, which I suspect all Laborites in England are. Dianne

    PPS David says I am an “Old Democrat” how should I respond??


    • Tilly Bud January 15, 2012 at 14:28 #

      Unclean! Unclean! Calling me a Laborite!! Conservative to the core 🙂


      • Tilly Bud January 15, 2012 at 14:28 #

        And you’re still welcome. But maybe just for lunch 😉


  13. RoryBore January 11, 2012 at 15:38 #

    Love it! As a Canadian, I hopefully “get it” a little better than my southern neighbours.

    I saw an interview with Daniel Radcliffe on Jay Leno, where he was using some very proper English grammar and a few expressions, and Jay says, “for God’s sakes, would you talk English!”
    to which Daniel, godlovehim, promptly side-eyed his reply: “I am.”
    brilliant. Fan.For.Life.


  14. gigihawaii January 11, 2012 at 16:10 #

    Hilarious! The one that got to me was: YOU MUST COME TO DINNER. I’ll keep that in mind the next time I make it to England. Lol.


  15. Lorna's Voice January 11, 2012 at 16:26 #

    We Americans do have a way of beating around the proverbial bush, don’t we? No wonder we can’t barter world peace…no one understands our English even if they understand English! 😉

    Great post!


  16. evilnymphstuff January 11, 2012 at 16:35 #

    An obsolete quote… and yet still remembered! He’s a great guy Wilde. ^^ lol great post!


  17. adeeyoyo January 11, 2012 at 16:36 #

    Brilliant, Tilly, and SO true!!!


  18. nrhatch January 11, 2012 at 16:51 #

    I’ll bear it in mind. 😉


  19. Shirls January 11, 2012 at 17:05 #

    That’s not bad, Tilly!
    I eventually learned to translate my husband’s reaction to a new dish: “It’s okay” means “Great” if accompanied by smacking of the lips, but means “Average” if said with a shrug. If he hates it he just rolls his eyes and I tell him he can cook his own bloody dinner if he feels like that…


    • Tilly Bud January 15, 2012 at 14:32 #

      Couples develop a language all their own, don’t they?


  20. Katherine Gordy Levine January 11, 2012 at 19:01 #

    Reblogged this on Emotfit's Blog and commented:
    LAUGH AND PLAY Reblogging a laugh, but also some thing to think about. Sometimes, just saying what you mean works better, particularly if you don’t say it mean.


    • Tilly Bud January 15, 2012 at 14:33 #

      I always say what I mean, generally blurting it out 🙂 I have no tact gene.


  21. Pseu January 11, 2012 at 19:34 #

    When the English say ‘quite’ what do they mean?


  22. SidevieW January 11, 2012 at 20:26 #

    the British column is correct, the other is taking it all so literally, poor creatures


  23. kateshrewsday January 11, 2012 at 21:43 #

    I love this, Tilly: and I can hear myself saying a lot of it. Erk.


  24. Janie Jones January 12, 2012 at 01:46 #

    I have been informed by those who purport to know me quite well that I have my own translation guide:

    Janie says: Is that what you think? Janie means: You must be stupid.
    Janie says: We could do that. Janie means: There’s no way in Hell we’ll actually do that.
    Janie says: Well, I suppose. Janie means: I could see it, but only in some warped and twisted reality that bears no similarity to our own.

    I simply posit it’s not what you say, but the way you say it. Inflection is everything, baby!


  25. Yulia January 12, 2012 at 02:08 #

    Thank you for the list Tilly, this is something new for me.. A little dictionary that I should bring it when I visit Europe, one day 😀


    • Tilly Bud January 15, 2012 at 14:36 #

      Don’t take it too seriously.

      Translation: take it seriously 🙂


  26. Cindy January 12, 2012 at 03:05 #

    As they say in Safrica, jawellnofine ;p


    • Pseu January 12, 2012 at 18:32 #

      yes, but, no but


  27. Grannymar January 13, 2012 at 16:34 #

    If I had a penny for the ‘YOU MUST COME TO DINNER!’ invites I wouldn’t need to do the lottery.


    • Tilly Bud January 15, 2012 at 12:10 #

      Can’t believe no one follows up on that for you 🙂


  28. eof737 January 14, 2012 at 02:53 #

    Ahem… he wasn’t lying. English is spoken in both nations but somewhat differently… 😉


  29. sarsm January 23, 2012 at 08:19 #

    Totally brilliant!



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