Words Misinterpreted Have you ever been in a situation when a word from your language has slipped out while you were speaking English? Did the word have a meaning in English? Was it improper? We could all be in a similar situation while learning English because we think in our languages and translate into English. Although languages have different origins, two different languages may include words that have the same pronunciation but different meanings. For example, words such as ‘kiss’, ‘sale’, and ‘fool’ have exactly the same pronunciation in both Arabic and English, but they have totally different meanings; therefore, they could be misinterpreted by both Arabic and English speakers. The word ‘kiss’ means a paper or plastic bag in Arabic, so it is one that could be misunderstood. My uncle could not speak English when he came here. One day, he went shopping and wanted to have a bag. Because he did not know the word ‘bag’, he mixed it up with the Arabic meaning and said, “Give me one kiss.” The cashier, who was a man in his thirties, was surprised.
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This note was uploaded on 11/04/2011 for the course EL 104 taught by Professor Whittenburg during the Fall '10 term at Montgomery College.