Ah these cultural words!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2002
Ah these cultural words!
2
Thu, 03-29-2012 - 2:09am

This morning I was preparing my daughter's "lunch box" even though they don't have lunch as such and it's more of sit down snack time enforced to teach the kiddos early rudiment of table manners, and I was explaining in French to my daughter that I was packing her tiffin.

Now in India the lunch box is called a tiffin, regardless of the language you speak, and I found it funny that it crept into my native language. The truth is that no other word comes to make sense. Tiffin is the name of the container that over time came to describe any packed meal, pretty much the same way Japanese have the bento.
I come from a culture where lunch box aren't really done, the French word for it is "gamelle" which is an awfully sounding blue collar term denoting that you don't have the luxury to sit down at a table or go back home for lunch, so it pretty much feels insulting to call my daughter's box by that name.

Funny how simple words can have such an impact in different languages and cultures huh?

My daughter loves the name it seems, she kept pointing to the said box and saying "fiffin" :)


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2012
Thu, 04-05-2012 - 9:08am
For some reason, my German husband uses the Dutch word drempel for speedbumps and now I can't recall the German word either. Lol.

In Germany in can also get confusing for English speakers because they like to take English words but use them in a different way, e.g. 'Handy' for cell phone! We Americans have twisted the meanings of words like Kindergarten, too, though. (Pre-school is the equivalent here.) :-)

- JM

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2002
Fri, 04-06-2012 - 8:00am

Same in Switzerland Kindergarten is pre-school, in fact the French word is "Jardin d'enfant" which translates as "kid's garden" in English and is indeed what the German word means as well.

In India play-school is the first year of pre-school. the second year of pre-school is called nursery and then come two years of kindergarten which are referred to as junior KG and Senior KG


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