Joke tips

Word to the people

I have just started online Danish lessons, love makes a bloke do crazy things! I signed up with a well known school in Aarhus so that I can listen in on my girlfriend’s phone conversations and order a beer without being laughed at! In 2010 I all but mastered Spanish (well, travel Spanish) after spending 10 months traveling in chicken and cholita infested busses throughout South America.

 

That people have to make such an effort just to communicate got me thinking, “Why don’t we make one universal language?”

 

English is already the standard default language worldwide, however, I have found that certain languages work better in certain situations. Why not pick the best language for each situation and make a fruit salad language, cherry pick the best.

 

Cursing/Insults:

 

No country is more dedicated to the art of the insult than Italy. Their curses are so beautifully constructed that after 4 years working in an Italian restaurant I thought that chef Franko was on my team whenever I messed up. In a paternal voice Franko, a pockmarked monster of a man, would say; “Never mind…Testa de cazzo” Years later I found out I was being called ‘dickhead’ ‘small penis boy‘ or ‘shit-head‘ depending on the context. Also unlike many English speakers, Italians work a whole sentence into an insult, read these few gems aloud…don’t forget to roll your R’s:

 

‘Il mortacci tua, porco demonio’

‘Torna qui, maldetto cavallo’

 

Sounds nice rolling off the tongue hey. You have just said; “Go fuck your dead relatives, spawn of the devil” and “Come here, damned horse”. They adorn their mark with beautifully eloquent insults. Italy also has a word which means “Please go and anally abuse yourself”…one word! “Vaffanculo” Italy is the insult language.

 

Arguing:

 

I have numerous German friends, they are wonderful people, but lets face it, there is nothing cute or whimsical about their language. I once asked a German friend what she was fighting with her mate about, to which she replied; “No I was just asking him to buy milk”. With all the tongue snapping ‘ach’s’ and ‘eeck’s’ German is definitely the arguing language. Even when you are being polite, in German it sounds argumentative;

 

“Ich stimme vollig mit ihnen… Sie sind ein netter mensch… Ich liebe dich”

 

Means:

 

“I totally agree with you…You are a nice person…I love you”

When friendly sentences sound so harsh this is the language for arguing, no argument!

 

Nonchalance:

 

French is definitely the language of nonchalance, not love. The streets of Paris are dripping with Parisians lounging in cafe chairs, wearing designer clothes and not caring…about anything.

 

A famous French person when asked of his failed marriage was quoted to say; “nous etions ensemble, j’ai oublie’ e reste” or “We were together, I have forgotten the rest” Already many English speakers use the French “se la vie“ I think we should pick up a few more nonchalances from this beautiful language, or, you know, whatever…se la vie.

 

Making Love

 

My vote goes to Spanish for love making words. Just the way one has to roll the R’s and purse the lips sends my mind straight to the gutter. Flower and rose sentences drip with sexy. Try reading this out…

 

“cada palabra que viene de que es mu’sica para mi alma”

“Every word coming from you is music for my soul”

 

Even rude sentences sound evocatively beautiful when read in Spanish; “Inclinado sobre una mesa, vestido por encima de su cuello”

“Bent over the table, dress above your head…”

 

Cooking:

 

I would vote to use Swedish. Not because of any particular nuance in the language but purely because of the way that Swedish chef off the muppets sounds. Imagine, if you would, that everyone in the world had to speak like him in the kitchen, how much fun would dinner time become?

 

Well, that’s it, my thoughts on one united world language. We should maybe throw in a few choice words from other languages to define really specific situations such as:

 

‘Tartle’ Scottish for hesitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.

‘Prozvonit’ Czech for calling a mobile phone and letting it ring once so that the other person will call back, saving you money.

 Ya’aburnee Arabic for “You bury me,” a declaration of one’s hope that they’ll die before another person because of how difficult it would be to live without them.

Jayus Indonesian for a joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh.

I tell you what though, when we get around to describing snow we will be spoilt for choice amongst hundreds of European Sami words (not Inuit as per popular belief).

There you have my meandering thoughts on language. If you disagree with me then I would have to say “Nur einen Versuch geben Sie bitte nette Leute“ Should you still disagree, then “‘Il mortacci tua, porco demonio!”

Se la vie…I’m off to make a midnight snack…de-borsch, de-borsch, id pudda chikken in da pot…

Wrong side of the road and masturbating chimpanzees!

grey Wrong side of the road and masturbating chimpanzees!

 

 

 

I once read a science fiction book where scientists bred modified chimpanzees smart enough to fly spacecraft. Chimps do not possess human vocal cords and can’t speak, hence communication was an issue. The other problem was that the space monkeys had had their intelligence further boosted with a hefty dose of human hormones. Once in orbit, full of raging hormones and curious about themselves and the world the entire simian crew discovered masturbation and neglected to steer. Keepers watched through closed circuit television as the spacecraft burnt up on impact with the earths atmosphere, the chimps, arms a blur, did not even look up…

I will return to the chimps later on… where did I leave off last time? Sapphire blue skies, rubbish bins, rock climbing, blah, blah…A big difference which I have not yet mentioned is that being in the middle of summer it is light, all the time. The sun rises at around 5am and hangs in the sky until 11:30pm. This is fantastic news for vitamin D production, bad news for sleep patterns. The light definitely has its benefits, often Jette and I will go for a stroll before dinner along the waterfront, returning at 8pm to cook dinner in the sun. Hearing people passing below my window as I drift off to sleep I sometimes think it is grade four summertime again.  Mum made me go to bed early and I would lay in bed awake enviously listening to the cool kids still playing outside.

Speaking of cool kids. The Danish equivalent of grade 12 has just finished their exams and kids have been partying like banshees ever since. In Australia when college finishes most people find a paddock somewhere to stand around a bonfire getting drunk and fighting, or kissing. The Danes celebrate very differently. As each class is let out someone organizes a big cattle truck, army truck or similar to drive the whole class around town. With huge stereo systems blaring the trucks are decorated with banners, streamers and littered with drunken classmates before taking to the streets. It is almost a competition on which class has the loudest, most decorative truck…pimp my truck. The entire class spends what is left of the day and most of the night making surprise visits to proud parents. At their homes they receive beer and toilet breaks before returning to the road to drive around again yelling, dancing and sharing their joy with the world. I lie in bed in the sunlight and wonder if these school leavers realize that soon they will be facing either real jobs or university studies. I reckon that thought would tone the buggers down a bit.

Currently my new city is trying to build a name for itself as the cultural capital of Denmark. To this end Aarhus is currently host to an impressive sculpture by the sea display. Picture a sprawling seafront park with massive oversize sunglasses and randomly placed sculptures dotting the waterfront. Elderly art critics walk around wearing berets and pushing half glasses up their noses as kids run, yelling between adult legs climbing everything with abandon. One of the bigger pieces consists of three double length shipping containers perched on end with a small container containing a bell suspended between them. That is all, the containers just sit there quietly rusting away, the occasional passerby stops to ring the bell before losing interest and moving on. Art, there is no definition. My hairdresser told me that a group of local artists got upset about the sunglasses sculpture saying that it is not art. No one got upset about the upended containers though, being both an eyesore and completely useless they are clearly art.

Oh yeah, I got a haircut recently, two actually…

While walking around the sculptures on Saturday I got thoroughly tired of my long messed up hair blowing into my face and asked Jette if she would give me a trim. This saw us on Saturday night, me sitting in a chair laughing and heckling as Jette nervously circled, snipping at wayward locks. Jette soon found her confidence and gave me a decent shearing. As a hairdresser Jette makes a really good lawyer, it was a great first try though! Following my instructions Jette cut it really short at the front and top and left it long at the back. Business at the front, party at the back equals a home made mullet, or ‘German hair’ as it is known here. I was very excited with my new look but as my front end resembled an old frizzy microphone it needed some tidying up.

On Monday morning first thing I went out and found a hairdresser to tweak my style somewhat. Telling my second hairdresser that I trusted her judgement as long as she left it long at the back I sat down and, with her limited English, we enjoyed a stilted conversation for half an hour. As if programmed to cut all hair the same she finished, leaving me with a typical Danish, short all over, cut.  Not to worry I am determined that the mullet will return! Monday afternoon I faced a massive struggle with writing block so I decided to simply give up. I went to the climbing centre for a workout.

Just getting to the centre was a mission. The first time I went out Jette kindly took me in her Fiat Punto (more about this automotive masterpiece later). Once I started climbing Jette found a seat and patiently waited for me to finish, watching like a patient soccer mum. Yesterday I had to make my own way out. I took Jette’s step through ‘city-girl’ bike with a wicker basket on the front. In the basket were my new, brightly colored climbing shoes with the pointy toes. I set the hilltop hoods on my iPod and left the building. The first few intersections proved a massive challenge. When the light turned green I rode through the intersection and would instinctively turn straight into oncoming traffic, panic, then ride up onto the pavement to regroup before trying again. I made a few bad turns but soon I was making my way up the correct side of the road towards the gym. The Climbing centre is located in a ‘bad’ area of town, revved up cars raced past with music blaring and passengers staring as I pedaled along quietly listening to my music.

Notwithstanding, it was a lovely ride out to the centre on ‘city-girl’, most people smiled as I passed and I could not help grinning about bringing people joy with my ridiculousness.

Unable to communicate, with burning forearms and sweat dripping off me I spent two hours mimicking people around me in the empty dive pool retrofitted with climbing walls. Looking up at observers above I fell limbs akimbo and rubbed my burning forearms while laughing to myself. It must have been a zoo-worthy sight, the lone guy at the climbing centre falling off, laughing at private jokes and not managing to speak with anyone, but it was brilliant fun. Next time I go I will try to act normal as I need to find someone to team with for belaying. Rock climbing is incredibly hard on the forearms, my legs and, well, all over hurt when I finished dragging myself around the obstacles.

The only time I felt a big awkward about my transport was when I finished climbing and asked the duty manager Mikael to let me into the bike shed. I wheeled the city-girl out from amongst a selection of very masculine mountain bikes to catch a poorly stifled laugh from him. Mikael then watched with a bemused expression as the new guy put his pointy shoes into the basket and set off down the wrong side of the street, back erect, earphones in, with a big grin on his face.

I sat on the generous girl-seat and threw myself into a rush of oncoming traffic. As I slowly orbited the roundabout backwards I thought about my communication issues and burning forearms and could not help grinning as I remembered the story of those masturbating space-chimps.

How to speak Danish

So after weeks of intensive linguistic research I have prepared a short lesson for the native English speaker on how to speak Danish without the burden of actual lessons or knowledge (this also works for German, Swiss or any Scandinavian language). My English to Danish rules are as follows:

Step 1)     Add in random K’s and S’s through out the sentence you want to say

Step2)     Drop any ‘e’ at the end of words

Step 3)     Put a line running from lower left to upper right through a few O’s

Step4)    Throw a few non-sensical words in throughout the phrase

Step 5)    Replace ‘C’ with ‘K’

Step 6)    add ‘en’ or ‘ern’ to the end of a few words

Step 7)    Combine ‘a’ and ‘e’ to form ‘æ’, replace a with it

Step 8)    replace ‘er’ with ‘ern’

Step 9)    ‘and’ becomes ‘und’

Step 10)    Lower your chin to your chest and speak upwards towards your palate two         octaves lower than your normal speaking voice

Step 11)    This is the most crucial, drink half a bottle of cheap brandy..

Using these eight simple rules anyone can speak Danish without much effort.

For example using my rules the sentence below:

“Today I walked to the bank to withdraw some money. The weather was cool and temperate becomes:

“Todask I walken tø th bansk tø withdræwen søm savnede monesk. Th wøthern wøs tiden også cøølern und temperæsk”

Sounds good hey? try this one:

“I am from Australia. Where I live everyone has a pet kangaroo, all we eat is prawns cooked on the barbeque. Beer comes from the tap and everyone says ‘bugger‘ or ‘mate’ at the start or end of every conversation”  becomes:

I æm frømsk Australiern. Wheern I livern everyønsk hasern a petsk kangarø und all we eatsk is prawns køøkern on the barbekuesk. Beersk kømes frøm the kommer tap und everyøn trætte says ‘bugger‘ ør ‘mate’ at the startern or end of every kønverskatiønsk, vindmølleparker!

It is also possible to use the rules in reverse to translate back to English, try this one:

‘Aarhus isk a beautikfulern tøwnsk stændsede. I lik it her, ælthøugh the spændt men weærsk their pantsk faren tø highsk for cømførtern.’

How did you go?

I am currently working on a translation of ‘War and Peace‘ while waiting for my university course materials to arrive, should be lucrative…grey How to speak Danish

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