Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

What Matters Is Not Lost in Translation; I'm Not Too Sure Whether Dee, Who Has a Visa to Stay, Play and Work in Australia for a Year, Really Understood What My Hubby Was Trying to Tell Him; the Use of Metaphor in English Is Difficult for Some

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

What Matters Is Not Lost in Translation; I'm Not Too Sure Whether Dee, Who Has a Visa to Stay, Play and Work in Australia for a Year, Really Understood What My Hubby Was Trying to Tell Him; the Use of Metaphor in English Is Difficult for Some

Article excerpt

Byline: WEDNESDAY With Leonie Brann

HOW do you explain the saying "there is no such thing as a free lunch" to a person who speaks little English?

For my husband and his Japanese friend Dee, who arrived in Australia last Friday, it was a conversation that took a few hours, with lots of hand gestures and furrowed brows as each tried to understand each other without the communication of language.

I'm not too sure whether Dee, who has a visa to stay, play and work in Australia for a year, really understood what my hubby was trying to tell him - understanding the use of metaphor in the English language is difficult for some of native tongues - but the respect between the two men was evident even though they had known each other only 48 hours.

My other half has been fascinated by all things Japanese since he was a child, and having never travelled overseas I have promised him a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun for his 30th birthday next year.

He started doing his research for his trip straight away, and it was in an internet chartroom dedicated to Japanese electronic music that my hubby met his new friend.

After months of emails to and forth, Dee has been the house guest of my young family since his arrival and my husband has been busy introducing him to the delights of Australian culture.

Dee - who is more confident reading English than speaking it and now, under the tutelage of my hubby, knows how to correctly use the colloquialism "bugger"- can pronounce 'G'day' like he's been saying it for years and much to his distaste has tried Vegemite and meat pies.

It has been a real eyeopener for me, seeing how we all fit in and how little needs to be said, for there seems to be a sense of understanding between us.

Even my two-year-old has caught on to the game and is gabbling along to Dee.

Last night my husband and I were trying to explain to Dee whyAustralians say "really" after they have been told something by someone, which led to us explaining ways of telling a person that you understand the message they are communicating. …

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