Friday, September 30, 2005

Where the former native speaker realizes answering an easy question isn't that easy...

My wife was watching a show where flight attendants were talking about their experiences doing job interviews. When they did the English job interview, one of the applicants--who had practiced a lot for this interview--was asked the simple question, "What's your favorite fruit?"

Not expecting this kind of question, she thought and thought. To help, the interviewer asked again: "What's your favorite fruit? You know, strawberries? Or bananas?"

"Oh yes!" said the interviewee. "I like to eat umbrellas!"

When she told me about this, I laughed and wondered aloud how anyone could say such a thing. My wife said maybe the applicant mixed the words "strawberries" and "bananas" to make "umbrellas". (They sort of sound similar. Sort of.) But I wasn't convinced. "I still don't see how anyone could do such a thing."

So she asked me, in Chinese what my favorite fruit was.

"香草!" (Oops...)

(Little extra credit: what did I mix up to get that result?)

4 comments:

Camicao said...

So, what did you say? I repudiate all claims to extra credit

Jonathan Benda said...

I'm still waiting to see if anyone wants to try at an answer. One person did, but then deleted his response for some reason...

Jonathan Benda said...

香草 (xiang cao) is vanilla, which is not a fruit, of course. Somehow I took the first syllable of 香蕉 (xiang jiao, or banana) and the first syllable of 草莓 (cao mei, strawberry) and combined them.

Michael Turton said...

Vanilla, but I see you beat me to it. Still, it comes from a bean, which is sort of a fruit, technically. :)

Michael