Wednesday, March 21, 2012

#TTOT Round-Up: Lost in Translation

Every Tuesday, it's Travel Talk on Twitter! Join either of the two sessions at 9:30am GMT and 9:30pm GMT to get in on all the fun travel talk! Just follow the #TTOT hashtag!

Here's the round-up of this week's #TTOT on "Lost in Translation!" 

Q1 via : What have you learned not to do or say in certain countries?
  • : "I'm looking for a rug" in a Turkish market
  • : Never tell an Italian your son plays the cello. 'Cello' is a local slang for a certain male body part
  • : Don't wave or eat with left hand in certain Arabic countries...(left hand is traditionally used as substitute for TP) 
  • Do not attempt to try and tip people for superior service when in Japan -- very offensive
  • : One for the ladies, don't touch a monk in Thailand
  • : Don't whine about the price of locally brought goods & services then go and spend $20+ bucks on a night on the beer
  • : Dont act like you expect every person to speak English

Q2 via : What's the funniest, most ridiculous "lost in translation" communication meltdown you've experienced?
  • : Speaking to a Vietnamese guy who mispronounced the word 'important.' It became 'impotent' - "You must be very impotent"
  • connvoyage: In Turkish, "thanks" sounds a lot like "testicular." I had trouble pronouncing it correctly all the time
  • : Told my Italian BFF I was reading "King of the Sheep." I insisted it was a famous book: "The Lord of the Rings" 
  • : First time in Germany, I learned quick that DAMEN is the laddies toilet . Not the mens
  • : I got offended when a Swede said 'sluta' to me. It means 'stop'
  • : Trying to say my roommate Amy and I were related, but ended up saying we "had relations"
  • : Asking for a tasty bit of "polla" (cock) instead of chicken "pollo" in Spain

Q3 via Robyn Boswell: What adventure/disaster have you had because you mis-interpreted someone?
  • : Florence. Ask if they have seafood on the menu. Nods her head. Trippa. I'm like wow. Interesting. Taste. Turns out to be Tripe.Urgh
  • : Taking the wrong train for misinterpreting Cyrillic
  • : Frequently walking into men's toilets because I don't know the word for man or the pictures aren't giving any clues away either
  • : The "salad course" at a restaurant in Fes turns out to be 18 plates! And that was just the first course
  • : A tour of the Giza pyramids became a trip across the desert via camel. No clue how that happened - still
  • : Not a mishap, but what I thought meant "bus comes tonight" turned out to be "bus comes tomorrow". Made for a longgggg wait
  • : I believed a Gorkha friend that it was a 'simple' walk. 8 hours later, crying in pain, we got there

Q4 via : What's the funniest street/public sign you found on your travels? Photos?

: Part of an anti drink drive campaign sign I saw in India once

connvoyage: Confusing street sign in Lijiang, China

: "Day of the Shark" shoot @ Breezy Palms Resort

: Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Q5 via : In what country/city did the locals make you feel most welcomed, even when you couldn't communicate with them? 
  • East or West wherever you go- India is the friendliest country! Even if you don't speak a word -locals want to interact
  • : I think this is a tie between Japan and Morocco. Both super-welcoming! 
  • Chiang Mai. The locals there are a bit more hospitable compared to in other places in Thailand
  • : Malawi - one of the friendliest countries in the world
  • I'm probably bias, but Vietnamese people are the greatest! When I lived there, I was called beautiful every day
  • Turkey - for sure
  • : Definitely Cambodia, smile for them is a universal language. Love it 

And there you have it, "Lost in Translation!"    

Next week's #TTOT topic is: "Special Travel Moments!" Submit your questions HERE!

See you next Tuesday 9:30am and 9:30pm GMT for the next #TTOT!

As always, a HUGE travel community thank you to our #TTOT hosts and organizers: traveldudes, , , , , , and !

Have YOU got anything to add to the "Lost in Translation" discussion? 

© Connie Hum 2012


  1. Great post!! very informative.
    Thank you very much for such a lovely and informative post.


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