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John Cowan wrote:
The order-taker couldn't make out what I
> wanted (I think she thought I was saying "fried ribs").  Finally, I said
> [f@'r\aIt b@'r\Et], with unexploded final stops, and all was well.
>
Not quite as dire as my experience with mis-hearing Sino-English.  While
having dim-sum in Detroit (I know, an unlikely idea), we asked the waitress
what was in one of the dumplings, and all 3 of us distinctly heard "cat
meat", which she finally clarified to [kw&p?mi?], which {crab}indeed it
turned out to be.  Delicious too.