Fourier Analysis is a mathematical tool which can do a number of things: separate out signals from noise; help identify patterns or trends in data; filter out all unwanted data and focus on a single signal; use approximations to make generalizations; make approximations of real world signals (think electronic music); combine harmonics to get a stronger signal. That's what I'll be trying to do here!! Won't you join me with your comments?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Communications Difficulties (1)

I guess because I live in a place where most people don't regularly speak my native tongue, I have an affinity for jokes, cartoons and other "funnies" about communication problems. So for this Sunday's funnies, I offer a selection that I usually giggle over:

Great commercial about language problems!

And one about another "failure to communicate".

This one is R-Rated, but still is so typical of language barriers!

This one is for my friend Jenn and others who might appreciate the choreography.

And from one of my earlier posts, one of my own mis-communications. I think it'd make a great commercial for language lessons:

I used to be a perfectionist. I took myself very seriously and I never liked making mistakes. I was cured of this shortly after moving to Germany. Even though it was only going to be for a period of 2 years, I learned the hard way that I would not survive the stress of holding onto my ideals. I had to let go and not be afraid of making a fool out of myself when I tried to speak the language. This lesson was only too clear after I went to the office where six of my male German colleagues worked (including one who was eventually to become my husband). In a very clear and confident tone, I announced that I was moving house and was there someone who would be willing to help me. A very good, perfect German sentence, pronounced well and easily understood by my colleagues, except...I included one tiny extra word that changed the sentence to me announcing that I was removing my clothes and would someone be willing to help me. My conservative German colleagues were very quiet and stunned, and I stood there a bit confused about why they were looking at me so strangely, when I realized my mistake at the same time that they did.... Well, it did break the ice. And the colleague who did volunteer to help me move also helped remove my clothes some months later...

Happy Sunday!


Jen said...

This gave me great joy and several laughs as I procrastinate doing some necessary kitchen tasks.

My best "oops" moment like yours was when I was an exchange teacher in the former Soviet Union and I was giving an important diplomatic speech to about 200 teachers at a special training school for top students.

The teachers asked me about teenagers and smoking in the U.S. and I answered that it was less of a problem in the U.S. than it seemed to be in Russia, because many American teens knew the dangers of... chickens!

"Kurainya" is the gerund for smoking.

"Kuritza" is the noun for chicken.

I was groping and mixed them up.

This is one of my son's fave stories about me. ;-)

Rebecca said...

That's hilarious!! It's definitely true that in order to speak in another language you have to be able to cope with being less-than-perfect.

But what a great 'meeting' story you have to tell...

anno said...

Once in Germany, I thought I had told a group of friends that I was to the restroom, only to be told when I returned that I had said I was going "into the toilet." They were naturally much amused. Wretched prepositions!

(I'm saving your links for a day when I have high bandwidth -- these look too good to miss!)

Real Life Drama Queen said...

OMG.. I needed those laughs. Been a stressful weekend. The videos were so funny. Well at least you got help to move and remove.

I make a mistake constantly at work. Only because I talk to fast. We have an appetizer called Fire Cracker Chicken Wraps. They are the best. But when I trip over my tongue I call them Fire Crapper Chicken Wraps. Always make someone laugh to see me make an ass out of myself.

Great blog.

Jenn in Holland said...

Love these links, I had seen the first two of course, LOVE the choreography in the last, and laughed long and hard (oh, my the innuendo) at the R rated one. Can't wait to play that one for Don, you know he's gonna snort!

anno-get yourself some bandwith, these are too good to miss!
drama queen-that was hilarious! I would totally order those after a mistake like that. :)

Fourier Analyst said...

I aim to please dear readers! Glad you enjoyed the funnies. Your own stories in the comments are even better! Ain't it great that we can laugh at ourselves!

Real Life Drama Queen said...

Heck yeah. I know with my life if I didn't laugh at myself I would go insane. Oh wait.. already there. Oh well, laughter is still great.