Cat food to the rescue

Salt_2The
other day, one of the ladies that is teaching me her language came over and wanted to use my scale.  She had been to the clinic because she wasn’t feeling well.  They weighed her, but she was convinced that their scale was wrong.  It said that she weighed 220, and that was impossible.  After a few minutes and much discussion, I realized that she is used to being weighed in kilos, but for some reason had been weighed in pounds.  She surely didn’t weigh 220 kilos, that is 485 pounds. 

Then the fun began.  You see, this friend is a good language teacher because she forces me to use her language instead of French.  Her method is very simple-she doesn’t know French.  That’s why I picked her to help me.  It’s usually very good, but in this case, I was stumped as to how I was going to explain the difference between pounds and kilos using no words.

I ended up getting a big basin of dry cat food out.  Then I measured it twice-once with big bowls and once with small ones.  She got it immediately-that’s how they measure things to be sold in the market, with different sized bowls, like the salt in the picture.  The small bowl was like pounds and the big one was like kilos.  She then explained it to a man that was sitting with us during this whole discussion – he took longer to understand.  I think that’s because men don’t usually buy things at the market that are measured in bowls.  I was pretty pleased with myself managing to get my message across with two words (big and small), two bowls, and a lot of cat food.

Published by Nora McNamara

Lover of languages and linguistics. Besotted Auntie. Jesus follower. Sacred Harp singer.

One thought on “Cat food to the rescue

  1. I think this is my favorite story I’ve read on your blog so far. That had to be so satisfying, using your skills to solve just the kind of challenge that intrigues you and helped get you into your chosen career field. Thanks for helping us get a better insight into how your communication efforts work on a practical level!

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