Dirty Talk

courtesy wikimedia commons

courtesy wikimedia commons

Upon reflection, and despite being a polyglot and the easy access to translator phones, I often find myself needing to say or understand the word for “poop” in other languages. I’ll either have just hung up the translator phone, or someone is trying in broken English to explain something to me involving their stools (often either a parent of an infant, or an elderly person). My nominations, in order of “getting the point across” (or at least thinking it got across) include, in order of frequency:

  1. Caca
  2. Poo poo
  3. Ca-kie
  4. Poop
  5. {Me squatting and motioning inappropriately}

I’m also guilty of the “louder will somehow translate the word into native tongue” business, especially when it’s an elderly person. You know, as in, maybe they’re just not hearing me. Put the two together, and apparently you quickly become quite the comedic entity for the nearby doctors when yelling “POOP! POOOO! CACA! POO POO! WHEN DID YOU LAST POOOOOOOOOOP? YOU KNOW, CACA? WHEN?”

And that is all.

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  1. #1 by Alison Cummins - September 30th, 2009 at 14:53

    I think “piss” and “shit” are pretty universally understood.

    While I think they are internationally known to be crude words, they don’t necessarily translate as swearing in other languages. For instance, where I live, francophones speaking English may refer to snow as “shit” as in “It’s full of shit outside.” They aren’t communicating pleasure, but actual swearing about snow would be something along the lines of “Baptism! Look at all that Chalice! snow outside! Tabernacle!”

    So while you might feel uncomfortable swearing, if you need the information from a non-english speaker “shit” might be crude but not as scandalously inappropriate as it feels to you. Ask around: talk to your translators.

  2. #2 by Nurse Karin - October 4th, 2009 at 10:08

    So funny! You made me laugh this morning.

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