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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Idiot Sightings (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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DStachowiak
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Baltimore, MD
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Quote:
On 2008-06-06 08:41, magicgeorge wrote:
I divide it by the radius, twice. Fink about it.

If it's an odd diameter I'll divide it by that twice. For the sizes Scott mentioned I'd divide the prices by 4, 9 and 16 respectively.

Sometimes I divide the circumference by the diameter but that's only if I feel like a pizza pi.

George


ahh so you divide by the radius squared. Got it.
Woke up.
Fell out of bed.
Dragged a comb across m' head.
DStachowiak
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Quote:
On 2008-06-07 10:59, stoneunhinged wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-06-07 00:34, abc wrote:
This may not be as humorous to the American population on the board.
In Taiwan most people can speak very little English so if you really want to get around you need to speak to Chinese. The following conversation has happened to either me or one of my best friends (a Canadian who speak much better Chinese than I do) on numerous occasions
Me or my friend: Do you have .....(in Chinese)
Him: I no English.
Me: I know. I am speaking Chinese. Do you have ......(again all in Chinese)
Him: (turns to another person and says in Chinese) what is he saying? I can't speak English.
Other person: He is speaking Chinese.
Him: But foreigners can't speak Chinese. Can you help him.
Other person: Sure.
At the conclusion of the purchase after obviously hearing the conversation between me and the other person all in Chinese the following conversation takes place in some form or the other again all in Chinese.
Him: Can you speak Chinese?
Me: No, I can't.
Him: My friends English is very good right?
Me: Excellent.


Been there, done that. Great story.

"But foreigners can't speak [insert language here]" is something I've experienced in many places.

And it's pretty idiotic.

As a relatively untravelled person, I'm curious about something.
Does any other country in the world go as far out of its way to accommodate foreign languages as the US does? US taxpayers have to pay for every government document to be printed in foreign languages as well as English. Likewise, every product I buy has packaging and instructions printed in foreign languages (cost passed on to the consumer). I have been told that its because the product is marketed worldwide, but in many cases this doesn't wash, as the packaging used in foreign countries is often totally different.
If I call a government agency, or indeed any business these days, I have to choose what language I want to use (Often English is not the first choice).
Is this a worldwide phenomenon, or is it only the case here in the US?
Woke up.
Fell out of bed.
Dragged a comb across m' head.
MagicSanta
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Northern Nevada
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There are two different answers. The first is on products. The big companies were packaging items for the US market and also for Mexico and other Latin markets and they were making separate runs in printing depending on the market. Someone came up with the brilliant idea, and it really was, to save money and logistical problems by printing both the English and Spanish (and at times French if the Canadian market comes into play) on the same label.

The US and perhaps a couple other 'huggy' countries produce forms in different languages, none as many as the wonderful US does. Go to the DMV in California, they have around 40 languages available, good luck finding the one in English. If you speak a language not available, say you are from an isolated villiage in the mountains above Turkey and only speak a language known to 500 people, the DMV will provide an interpreter. As an added bonus I've been to the DMV and they let people take the test with their pals reading to them from the work book... no failing there! What I found facinating is you will find in the US forms written in Tagalog (sp), which is spoken by most Philippinos. If you go to the Philippines, unless things have changed, the language of govt there is English and their ballets etc are in English and not Tagalog! The Philippinos I worked with thought that was very funny.
Destiny
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Don't know about elsewhere but it's the same in Australia.

Also when you ring Government departments you can request a translator or, in some cases, a department officer who speaks your native tongue.

As we are constantly looking for skilled immigrants to join our workforce this is probably essential.

Where I live on the Great Barrier Reef is a tourist region so a second language is frequently a prerequisite for jobs in the private sector also.

I studied French for 5 years at school and can remember how to tell you there is a cat under the table but little else.

I studied Japanese for 2 years as an adult and do a little better there.

My proudest multilingual accomplishment is the ability to swear in fifteen different languages.

Destiny
stoneunhinged
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Destiny, be VERY careful. You're about to cease being a "special user">
Destiny
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You could have told me earlier.

Now I'm not special the little bus just speeds by and I have to walk.

I'll report a few of my posts for flaming and I'll soon be back waving at you beside the road.

Destiny
Lyndel
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wrote the theme to the TV show COPS!
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Welcome back magic santa! We missed ya!


Lyndel
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MagicSanta
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Northern Nevada
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Thank you!
abc
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South African in Taiwan
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Well, in South Africa there are 11 official languages so the population can request documents in any of these and according to the constitution they have to be provided because it is an official language. Voting is a nightmare.
We are also home to the second largest Indian population in the world. Next to only India (as far as I know).
In India and China thay have many different dialects and languages although in China the predominant language is Mandarin Chinese. That does not mean everyone can speak or read it.
I do think countries should take a harder stance on this when people immigrate but I also think supplying a translator in case of emergencies like in a court is fine. But translating everything in many different languages is just ridiculous.
As for idiot sightings what is better than watching governments in action?
http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=USjyN8Zlvtw
http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=mbSvPtyCoEs
http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=g10PAsvZFoQ
http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo-TajmBr1s
Enjoy
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