Sunday, February 03, 2019

In Another Country

When you live in another country, where another language is spoken, words can be a funny thing.

For example, when I got a dog here, I learned the command “Auf dein Platz.” "Auf dein Platz" is what you tell the dog when you want him to go to his little mat in the corner where he sleeps. You might command the dog to do this because you want him out of your way or because he has been bad, etc.

But the thing is, one day someone asked me, “What’s 'Auf dein Platz' in English?" And ya know, I didn’t know. I had never had a dog before moving to Germany, so I never had to use that kind of vocabulary, and didn't.

Words can be a funny thing when you live in another country.

But we're not done, not just yet. One last thing, and it also concerns dogs. For the longest time, I had heard people at the dog parks and dog runs talking about “Richbacks,” these big, brown and gold dogs, and I had thought nothing of it. "Look," I had sometimes thought to myself, "there goes a 'Richback.' What a nice dog."

But then one day I looked this dog up online, and when I did, Google asked me, "Did you mean 'Ridgeback'?" Apparently I did because the name of the breed is Ridgeback. However, the way Germans pronounce it, it sounds like “rich.” Funny, right?

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