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FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Joke is lost in translation

Many years ago, when we were new in Canada, I tried a joke which fell flat because the person I was talking to thought I was challenged in English.

It was a common enough reaction, because we came from Hong Kong and looking at us, I suppose people assumed we didn’t know English. What happened was that the person was to come see us to discuss family insurance but called to say he was “running behind”.

I couldn’t resist. “Running behind what?” I asked.

There was a brief silence, after which he hastened to explain. “I’m sorry, I meant I was late.”

I thought of telling him I had understood what he meant, but that involved another long phone conversation and I wasn’t sure we’d be able to navigate that, so I let it go.                                    

                                                                                                                                                                     – Sam Zhang

 

What’s your story? Every newcomer, no matter how savvy or where he or she comes from, has a Fresh Off the Plane (FOP) story to share about their early days in Canada. Do you want to share your story? E-mail it to us at canadaboundimmigrant@rogers.com.

 

Posted: Jun 1, 2018

December 2018



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