only help my unbelief

Lost in translation. Really lost.
December 22, 2008, 10:52 pm
Filed under: Posts | Tags: , ,

I was reading this post over at Amy Beth’s blog about “hot lips” and it recalled to mind my freshman year of high school.

It was the first semester of German, and Frau Linder was our instructor. She was eccentric in that she would make us wear these German hats while acting out vocabulary words. We were unanimous in that we hated wearing the hats.

At the beginning of the semester, we had to pick our German names. Our book had a list of common German names, and so Frau Linder told us to pick one that started with the same letter as our name. Mine was Christiana.

There was a guy in the class, Darryl, who was a senior. If he didn’t pass German I, he wasn’t going to graduate.

One day toward the end of the semester, Frau Linder told us to write down our names on a slip of paper. She put all the slips into the aforementioned German hat and started drawing names to find out who our partner would be for a project.

“Christiana,” she called out, and then reached into the hat for another name. I walked to the front of the room to see who my partner would be.

She paused, not reading the name.

A strange look overtook her face.

“Who wrote this?” she said, scanning the classroom.

“What do you mean?” we asked.

“It says, ‘Dead Lips,'” she said. Frau Linder got flustered fairly easily, but this was really causing her distress.

As the majority of the classroom laughed, Darryl sauntered up to the front of the room.

Frau Linder asked him what he was doing, as she hadn’t called his name.

“But you did call my name,” he said.

Darryl, it turns out, had picked the name Detlef from our textbook at the beginning of the year, but somehow over the course of the semester, it had morphed in a way similar to when you play a game of telephone.

I’m just glad Darryl realized the mistake when he did, because the Germans have enough of a stigma attached to them without people thinking their name their children things like Dead Lips.


1 Comment so far
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lol that was hilarious 😛

Comment by Rita M.

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