Wayne’s Cousin Doosay

Language and, in particular, the translation from one to another, is not always a smooth transition.  There are sometimes some bumps in the road.

A while ago, I was chatting with Kristy who works for another firm who provides services for my company.  In discussing some business matters, she mentioned that she heard that Clyde, who works in another department here, hired someone for a vacant position.  My reaction was typical, “that’s nice” I think I said.  Kristy mentioned she understood that he would start next week and his name is Wayne Potts.

My response was immediate.  It was as though a doctor had used his little hammer on my knee to check my reflexes and my knee jerk response without hesitation was “I know his cousin Doosay”.

There was silence on the other end of the phone as if someone had just cut the lines.  If I could have been in Kristy’s office, I imagined I would have seen a pained and confused look on her face with about a thousand brightly lit question marks of varying sizes circling over her head.  She finally broke the silence by saying “what are you talking about”? 

To fully explain this, some background filler is necessary.  I am an Italian-American whose grandparents and preceding generations were all born in Italy.  Kristy has some Italian heritage, but you would not think this to look at her.  I’ve only come to accept her claim because she refers to the red sauce she makes as “gravy”.

The Italian language is, by my admittedly prejudiced view, the most beautiful in the world.  How else do you explain why people would sit and listen to opera for hours on end even though they may not understand a word being said.  Just below that are the dialects of Italian which is what I heard being spoken as I grew up.  Not as smooth and lyrical, but great just the same.  So when you translate to/from Italian via a dialect to English, distortions can occur.

If someone says something outrageous (like “I just ate a pound of macaronis”), you would say “you’re crazy”.  This can be translated as “tu sei pazzo” in Italian.  When filtered the translation through a dialect and less refined ears, it comes out “doosay potts”! 

And that boys and girls, is how I know Wayne’s cousin.

condon.us

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2 Responses to “Wayne’s Cousin Doosay”

  1. Wade’s Cousin Doosay | Abstrakcyjny Says:

    […] Wade’s Cousin Doosay […]

  2. Davis Says:

    mmm… gravy

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