Archive for the ‘Languages’ Category

Think We Saw Pearl Harbor Coming?

Japanese teacher: So the ‘sou desu’ form is used when you want to say something seems like something else. Like, Tanaka San seems happy — you could say ‘Tanaka San wa ureshisou desu.’
Student #1: What if he’s smiling and he just won the lottery? Would you have to say he seems happy, or could you say that he is happy?
Japanese teacher: Well, you are not Tanaka San — he could find the money to be a burden — so you’d have to use ‘sou desu.’
Student #2: What if he’s yelling that he’s happy?
Japanese teacher: He could be lying. You never know with Tanaka San…

–Columbia University

Overheard by: Vicksburg

What's So Great Aboot Wednesday One-Liners, Eh?

Man on subway, about to exit: Obama, Islam, Canada. Obama, in Islam, and Canada. (exits train)

–Downtown D Train

Overheard by: katiekatydid

Thug to tourists: How do you say "thank you" in Canadian?

–34th & 7th Ave

Overheard by: Fluent in Canadian

Student: I'm so sick and tired of your Canadian condescension.

–Eugene Lang College

Crazy Brooklynite at a payphone: The Queen owns everything! She owns Europe, she owns Africa, and she owns Canada! The one thing she doesn't own is the US. So could somebody give me a US quarter for a Canadian quarter?

–Broadway & 8th St

Ditzy blonde to another: Do we look Canadian?

–Chelsea

Overheard by: Holls

Wednesday One-Liners Are Masters of Their Own Verbal Domain

Guy: They’re squatters and ravers. They squat and rave…They squave.

–Belle and Sebastian show, Battery Park

Overheard by: Lacey

Suit: You know how some people wing it? Well I wanged it. I totally wanged it.

–52nd & 7th

Overheard by: Jatmos

Asian guy: It seems like everyone is giving headjobs these days.

–Flinders St

Overheard by: duygu

Female nurse: I’m telling you, he is totally intercontinental. I have to change him 4 times a day.

–Hudson & Spring

Overheard by: AJ Stone

Wordsmith, on the phone: Ma’am, her train is being delayed because of constipation.

–Office, 1250 Broadway

Teen on cell: He’s not very smart…Yeah, I just need someone to conversate with.

–Macy’s

Overheard by: Chelsea

College guy: The word “secretion” just fucks me up.

–NYU

10-Year-Old boy: I ain’t speakin’ no language.

–B48 bus, Franklin & DeKalb

Overheard by: Kyri

Tourist: Sexual attention is the only language I really understand.

–Around the Clock Diner, Stuyvesant & 3rd Ave

Overheard by: gweny

Woman: The lesbians don’t like the Jews…I mean the Lebanese.

–Party, 16th & 1st

Girl: Stop staring at all the buildings, you look like a terrorist!…I mean tourist. Same thing.

–8th & Broadway

Overheard by: ceci

Girl: Oh, my shoes totally fell asleep…Fell asleep? Fell apart!

–Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

Shish Kanish Is That Falafel Place Over on Third

10-year-old white boy: Mom, you know what I'm wondering?
Mom: No, what?
10-year-old: What does “shish kanish” mean?
Mom, staring at him: What the hell are you talking about?
10-year-old: In that song by Shakira it says she makes a man wanna “shish kanish.”
Mom, shaking head: “Speak Spanish,” Cory. She made a man wanna speak Spanish. Shit, you ain't never gonna be a singer.

–Tenement Museum

Overheard by: Excuse me while I kiss this guy

This Has to Do With Degrassi High How?

Tourist guy: Why are all the signs in Chinese?
New York guy: Because we’re in Chinatown.
Tourist guy: But shouldn’t they have to advertise in English?
New York guy: New York isn’t Quebec.
Tourist guy: What?
New York guy: Dude, you don’t even know the difference between Chinese and Korean, you’ll never understand a reference to Quebecoise French.

–Bayard & Mott

Overheard by: iiams

This Just In: Jackson Daughter’s Move to Iran Has Unintended Consequences

Preppy girl: So, like, Salman Rushdie had to move to America because that guy issued this fatwa thing against him.
Hipster guy: You mean the Ayatollah?
Preppy girl: I think it’s pronounced “aya-toy-a.”
Hipster guy: Ummm…Yeah, if he were Spanish!

–Columbia University

Overheard by: not an Ivy-Leaguer

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