Thursday, April 29, 2010

Language Anecdote

Yesterday a volunteer imparted to me an interesting story that happened a few weeks ago that I wanted to share. This particular volunteer is learning Hindi, and he speaks English and Spanish at home. Well, he was speaking to two volunteers who had returned from the market in Delhi NCR. These volunteers were from Germany and Denmark. As they passed by a smoothie stand at the local market, they saw a pineapple, and wanted to order a pineapple smoothie; however, they had forgotten how to say pineapple in English! The Danish volunteer said to her friend that she wanted to buy what people call in Danish "Ananas." And the German volunteer described that the word for pineapple in German is also "Ananas." Even more interesting, the local Indian smoothie maker explained to the volunteers that the word for pineapple in Hindi is also "Ananas!" The volunteer who told me this story also expressed that in Swahili, Arabic, Spanish, and Portuguese the word is also "Ananas!" Now why is English so different? At least the volunteers were able to enjoy their fresh pineapple smoothies from the Indian market, and have a great story too!

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