Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Conversion Aversion

While preparing to live in a foreign country I thought a lot about what kinds of clothes and shoes to bring, and what the weather would be like, and if my apartment would be close to parks or shops. I never thought about how much mathematical brain power I would need on a daily basis...

The current time reads 21:05
In real time: 21-12 = 9:05pm
California time: real time+3 then reverse night/day = 12:05pm
Colorado time: CA time + 1 hour = 1:05pm
NJ time: CA time +3 hours= 3:05pm

Divide danish krone price by 5 and the price in dollars a little less than that.

Multiply the danish distance (kilometer) by 2/3 and it should be somewhere around there.

Divide length in meters by about 3 to get feet.

I'm pretty used to centimeter lengths so I don't need to translate.

I know there's an equation that includes multiplying by 5/9 or 9/5 and adding or subtracting 32 and if I thought about it long enough I could figure it out, but it is too much effort at the moment. I know 0 degrees Celsius is equal to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything close to zero or less is obviously freezing, and warm does not start till about 15 degrees Celsius which is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I won't have to worry about that for awhile....

I know we can't all be in the same time zone, but I wish we could at least all get on the same page with the temperature and distances, and why not all have the same electrical outlets? Who do you have to talk to get this situation standardized?

(Too tired to find the right transitional phrases today......start new blog topic.....)

I had a super long day today. I was at work for way too long. After a certain time the buses and trains start running fewer and farther between. It took me much longer to get home. At the station right before my stop the train ended up breaking down or just decided to stop? I don't know what was going on. They made an announcement but I couldn't understand it! Everyone else got off the train and seemed annoyed so I followed along. I may not understand words but I can read body language. Ended up walking home from there (about a mile). On the way home I came across this seemingly inappropriate store front:

Found out from a colleague that "slut" in Danish means "final." Looked up on google translate and "slutspurt" means "sprint" or "final sprint." Still unsure why it's written on the store front.

Another good one that I didn't get a picture of, is a sign on the highway that said "fart" and had the digital numbers underneath it. "Fart" means speed.

I'm learning! The only words I really know are "Hej" (hello) and "tak" (thanks). I have also noticed that f-bombs seem to be universal as well. I was hoping picking up the language would be easier but the danes have some ridiculous pronunciations and they make some weird throaty, nasally, phlegm hacking noises. They probably think the same of me.

So for all you folks at home in your comfy english-speaking lives, here is a little exercise I would like you all to try:

Say this phrase how you think it should sound: Min luftpudebåd er fyldt med ål

Now listen to how the Danes say it:

See what I'm working with here! I don't think I could ever sound like that.
(English translation: my hovercraft is full of eels)


Trevor said...

Is the fart limit the same over there as it is here?

Evan said...

Dang it, Trevor beat me to it.

Colleen said...

hahahaha, can you please steal a fart sign for me???

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