explanation

explanation

English, Really What kind?

Posted by on May 5, 2012 in explanation | 0 comments

English, Really What kind?

English, Really What kind?

Sanibonani Friends!

We’ve been in South Africa, specifically the Pretoria/Johannesburg Area, for the past 10 months but our experiences haven’t been limited to this one country.  The Division office where I work covers 23 countries in the Southern Africa Indian Ocean Region and the cultures vary from place to place.  In most of the areas we’ve been especially South Africa where we live English is the Lingua Franca, there are 11 official languages for our Host Country but English is the common one that everyone speaks.

This was supposed to be good news right?  Ok it was good news but what they speak is a different version of English if you will.  The title of this post gives you a small window into what I mean, “I speak English.  Really what kind?” this may seem weird but if you think about it long enough it’s really not.  Take a born and raised, true blue Bostonian drop him/her in the deep south (i.e. Alabama, Mississippi, or New Orleans) and immediately there is a bit of a problem right?  The english the Bostonian will find in the Southern Part of the US won’t be the same and in some cases although rare words will have different meanings.  When I moved from Florida to Michigan to attend Andrews University I experience this as well, one of the more memorable ones was Pop/Soda – in the south we call Sprite, Coke, Pepsi, etc… Soda but in the midwest they call it Pop – took some getting used to but after 5 years there it became second nature.

So back to present day here are is a list of words (whole words) that have a different meaning in this part of the world:

South African –  American

  • Robot – Stop Light
  • Till – Cash Register
  • Queue – Line
  • Boot – Trunk
  • Gas – Propane
  • Fuel/Petrol – Gas
  • Garage – Gas Station
  • Bakkie – Small Truck
  • Serviette – Napkin
  • Toilet – Bathroom
  • Nappy – Diaper

I’m sure there are more and when I remember them I’ll add them to the list over the next couple days.  But just from reading what I’ve listed you can see that a simple conversation could get very confusing and lets not forget both parties are speaking english but just different versions – LOL.  I’ll share one of our experiences…

Driving Directions:  We were looking for a SuperMarket to buy some groceries and we were told it wasn’t far just 5 minutes or so from the house.  As we’re driving we stop to ask for some directions here is what we are told – “Keep going straight on this road past the first Robots you’ll see a Garage on your Left keep heading straight-on you’ll pass another set of Robots then at the 3rd set you’ll take a right and the shops will be on your Right.” – to this we replied Thank you So Much and drove off very slowly looking for Robots…….

ROFL, believe me we are still laughing about this one…

Ok I’m done laughing now so let me end by just sharing this, it’s very interesting to see the far reaching influence England has had on the world it set out to discover/conquer/explore.  Some of the terms above are unique to this area, some are from the Dutch influence, but others are directly from English society which was imposed or should I say force fed to all of it’s territories.  The first time I came to South Africa I was actually physically annoyed but Tea Time because I felt we couldn’t get any progress done on the project I came to complete.  No one has to ask where that came from, but more to the point of different perspectives: the phrases and/or influence of English society when compared to the culture of the States has a lot of Pros and Cons don’t you think?  I mean as annoyed as I was by Tea Time its not just about good digestion its about taking a small break from the Rat Race and appreciating those around you.  Not saying everyone who breaks for tea has this intent at heart but it sure is an interesting perspective to consider, dont you think?

Until Next time Salani Kahle!

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Legacy (Continued)

Posted by on Mar 8, 2011 in explanation | 0 comments

Legacy (Continued)

In my first post on Legacy I spoke on the fact that there’s one central theme in the lives of those who really left an indelible mark on this world – they chose to Love – and mankind was never the same because of it.  I recently came across a video that asks the very same thing: “What evidence will future generations have of your existence?  What are the things in your life that will last?”  And in a very unique and creative way answered those questions – enjoy!

Maybe a Legacy isn’t material…
Maybe a persons impact can’t be determined by a calculator…

Hope you enjoyed it…

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Legacy

Posted by on Jan 25, 2011 in explanation | 2 comments

Legacy

There are all kinds of events in life some that mark the beginning of a new chapter and some that simply show you where you are. For example a graduation or a wedding or the birth of your first child are all new chapters while realizing that joke isn’t funny any more or using your once favorite shirt as an oil rag or finding yourself completely engrossed in a topic or a documentary that once would’ve put you to sleep – these are signs of where you are in lifes journey. One kind of these events comes in the form of an indescribable realization of our own mortality which sometimes goes hand in hand with the need to be remembered or to leave something behind.

My favorite TV show is Seinfeld (I own every episode) and there was one show where all the characters have this aha moment and the line they used was:

“…what kind of life is this? I’m not a man/woman – I’m a child. I’ve gotta make some changes…”.

Last year I had that same aha moment and it started me thinking of my life and how I’ve lived and that indescribable feeling rushed over me – started asking the question, how will they remember me? It catapulted me on this quest to figure out how I can leave a mark on things – have a street named after me or be presented with the key to the city or maybe run for public office – something that allows my presence to be felt long after I’m gone. The conclusion I’ve come to is something altogether different because there are plenty of street names around that probably bear some significance but I don’t know what it is, there are plenty of keys to the city given out but can anybody name the last person that got one? And we already have to many civil servants in public office that define the very meaning of underachiever and mediocrity so whats left? Who got it right? Here’s a list:

Mohandas Gandhi – “My Life is My Message”
Mother Teresa – “Intense love does not Measure, it just Gives”
Martin Luther King Jr – “If I can help somebody then my living would not be in vain”
Jesus – “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

There’s one central theme in the lives of those listed above – they chose to Love – and mankind was never the same because of it.  CCM Artist – Nicole Nordeman captures the essence of my journey in the words of her song Legacy please take a moment to listen…

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to you enough to make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who blessed Your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

Yea that pretty much sums it up for me, what about you – what will be your legacy?

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