Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Language Barriers in Dubai

Living in a thoroughly multi-cultural society has its joys and challenges.

On first landing on the fair shores of Dubai I was totally thrown by all the accents. I, frankly, had a totally melt down over the many versions of English that I absolutely could not understand. Bearing in mind that I already come from a mixing pot of accents I thought I would be pretty well up there on understanding English spoken by pretty much anyone. Ha! Was I in for a fright.

I cannot express my joy on finding (a week or so after we arrived in Dubai) a coffee shop where the serving staff were mainly Kenyan. At last people I could order a cup of coffee  from without wanting to cry about it.

It took a few months before my ears and brain finally got it and I could manoeuvre my way around the city by listening.

Then I got a job working for a lovely Scotsman. DO NOT GO THERE. I still have days when I have absolutely no bloody idea what he has said to me.

Click here for a bit of light entertainment; Scott's in an elevator

Click here for some  more light entertainment 24 accents.... bit rude but you'll get the point

I am meandering. Back to the present. Today a lovely lady came to my office. In the course of our business ( sounds more impressive than it was)  I had to give her a phone number.......So it went something like this:
Me "number number number 555"
She replies back "number number number 345."
"No," says I "it is triple 5."
"Yes," she says "3,4,5."
"  No, not 3,4,5," says me "it is 555."
" Yes!" she says "3,4,5!!!?"
Both of us  are terribly confused.
I say let me see what you have written. She had it absolutely right . Clearly tree fuff five is triple five.

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