Travel Talk. Travelling, going places, on the road again... "A traveler without observation is a bird without wings," I read the other day. I like reading, a bit of writing, and then I especially enjoy the exchange with nice people, who doesn't? But the topic of this page is not as much mutual understanding, but instead it is all about misalignment and ambiguity, which is unfortunately all too often expressed by mentioning other nations...
Sounds Spanish. In English, there is the phrase "It's all Greek to me," which used in situations of incomprehension. In German there is a similar phrase: "Das kommt mir Spanisch vor – It seems Spanish to me." Then again, in Spanish, one may say: "Me suena a chino – That sounds Chinese to me!" In Greek again this equals to: "Mou miazoun me kinezika – It is like Chinese to me!" With Chinese though, a very important expression for foreigners is "(wo) bu dong – (I) don't understand!"
Acropolis Adieu. Talking about Greece, there is this memory of circling around the closed Acropolis museum. And that had happened during four consecutive visits to Athens, unbelievable is it? "This is probably as close as you will ever get to the Acropolis," my colleague commented my visit to a miniature version of the Parthenon Temple at Minimundus in the south of Austria. Years later, I'd make it to the real, geniune, all-time-famous Acropolis after all. My in the meantime retired buddy, whom I contacted on the occasion, commented: "Wow, I am so happy for you... I often wish I was there, too. Those were difficult times, but you made it possible to also have a lot of fun!"
Very Double Dutch. There is also the British English expression "That sounds double Dutch," which can be tricky. As "double Dutch" is also the name of a rope game (not what you may think!) involving two people jumping simultaneously, or the parallel use of two contraceptives together, possibly what they call a Dutch cap plus a French letter. But that is too much information already. Let me close with one final example though. In Swedish, there is also the expression: "Det aer rena grekiskan – It's all Greek." There we go – full circle that is! No wonder, in Poland there is the old phrase "Austriackie gadanie – Austrian talking" for empty talk. I better go now.