John in Brattleboro, Vermont, is pondering words and phrases that change their meaning when they move from one language to another. For example, in Germany the English phrase public viewing doesn’t have to do with a wake, but a live sporting event. Similarly, in English, a la mode usually describes something topped with ice cream, a specialization of the French phrase that means “according the fashion.” And the Japanese imperative gambatte, from gambaru, meaning “doing one’s best and persevering to the bitter end,” is sometimes replaced by a word that sounds more like English, fighto! This is part of a complete episode.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support the love of language and good conversation. Donate to keep episodes coming in 2020.