Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ordering in Turkish

Out and about off Base today, Stebbs and I went through the driveway at McDonalds -- my first time doing that. I am the better Turkish speaker of the two of us. I was the driver. So I ordered. Here is what I wanted to order: one double cheeseburger meal -- a #4 in Turkey.

Alas, here is what they thought I wanted: four number fours.

And what's even worse is that, once they gave us our order, we quickly decided that spending $25USD on lunch was better than trying to explain in Turkish that we didn't order four of the meals but instead one meal of the #4.

Oh and I also ordered a cheeseburger for Elijah which didn't show up. So instead, he got a double cheeseburger ... and we still had one to spare!

Just another bit of living in a country that doesn't speak your language! And another bit of having an appreciation for people who come to America not knowing English. Telling them, "learn the language!" isn't as easy as you might think. Learning a language is HARD (cok zor in Turkish) and even if you learn it, the nuances are a whole 'nother thing. In addition, I highly doubt Americans are as helpful and courteous to foreigners attempting to speak as the Turks are to their tall blonde friend fumbling through an order at the drive-thru.

Something for us ALL to think about.


The Woodfords said...

AGREED!! I sometimes read missionary biographies, and in one sentence it says how they learned the language - I now know much better than that! Spanish is considered an "easy" language to learn, and I am into my fourth year now and still don't always understand what people are saying (and make lots of funny mistakes). The people here in general are very kind, patient and helpful - much more kind, patient and helpful I have been to others learning English in the past.
Great post, Wendi! =)

Anonymous said...

OMG that totally happened to me when I was in Romania. I ordered 4 pieces of pizza and they delivered, and I had to pay for 4 pizzas!
Feel you!

Lots of love,
Lauren T.

Emily said...

I thought of you yesterday when I ordered my lunch in the drive-thru! Haha!