Tongue Twisters: Lost In Translation

As is often the case, something is said and the unexplained synapses takes place.  When in a house with 4 teenage girls of three differing nationalities, it is sometimes hard to remember what the catalyst was for the mental belly smacker.  Whatever the case, I started reciting the tongue twister “Peter Piper Picked a peck of pickled peppers……”

Following this, it was only logical to ask if they also have tongue twisters in their countries.  And, although I expected it, I was a little caught off guard when they recited them.  With no ability to determine what syllable belonged to what word, I had no chance of understanding and/or repeating any of the 3 or 4 tongue twisters they rapidly produced.  All I could do was stare blankly with my mouth slightly ajar with 100% confidence I could not reproduce ANY of the sounds they had just completed uttering.

Feeling like a failure due to my tongues lack of energy and enthusiasm, the only way to partially redeem myself was asking, “So, what do they mean?”  The first Korean tongue twister was something to do with a giraffe with a long neck but due to peer pressure he needed a shorter neck so he accidentally got bariatric surgery instead of neck reduction surgery.  The second Korean tongue twister had something to do with two guys who owned the same store or similar stores, but one of them wouldn’t order items from China, so he was having trouble making any profit.  (There is a small chance I forgot exactly what the tongue twister was about—very small!)  The Chinese one had something to do with a tree that was growing slowly and a panda could not wait on it to grow so he decided to start eating the bamboo.  (Also sketchey on the translation of this one.)  Regardless of their meanings, I am absolutely certain the English explanation of what they claimed they said was not remotely close to a tongue twister.  And, for all I know, they may have been reciting their alphabet or “Mary had a little lamb” (or equivalent)

Why do I seem to take pleasure in distorting reality so?  Why do I insist on falsely remembering what exactly happened?  Once my age is dismissed and my disposition is adjusted for, I just enjoy making a smile (or hint of a smile) appear on someones face.  And, if it has not been noticed, I am certain we have the best exchange students ever.  It has been great fun, and we have SO much school year to go.  I have asked them both already if their parents will just let them stay with us.  Since this seems unlikely, we will try to suck as much culture out of them as we can.   Not being greedy, we are offering to fill the newly greatly void with all of the American culture they can handle.  Lots of good times await!

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