TRAVEL STORY – WHEN “DOGGY STY**” GOT LOST IN TRANSLATION

“Traveling — it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

Everyone who leaves home and embarks on an adventure has at least a few unexpected travel stories to tell. Because in travel, nothing ever goes as planned.

Some stories are funny and hilarious, some are exciting, and others push us out of our comfort zones …

On the other hand, travel tales can also be scary. Some would say, that the best ones are love stories filled with romance and then for some top ones are where language barrier comes into play.

Learning a language in school, and watching movies is fun. But using this language in a destination country, not being familiar with the dialect and culture, can get tricky. It can be equally fun and embarrassing. And at the end of the day, we learn something new and have a ‘great’ travel story to tell.

I know I collected plenty of those on my travels.

You can find the most embarrassing and inappropriate one down below. The one about the awkward moment when ‘Doggy sty**’ got lost in translation in New Zealand.

Note: While the story is true, some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals involved.

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Lost in translation travel story 1a
Lost in translation travel story 1a

Travel Story from New Zealand

Land of Kiwis and Lord of the Ring.
And closeness to Australia. That is what got me to Aotearoa.

I came to New Zealand on a Work and Holiday visa. Found a job on the South Island in a cafe before I even landed in the Land of the Long White Cloud. The idea of WHV is to improve your language skills, meet the culture, friends, lifestyle, and travel of course. Besides the Lord of the Rings movie and stunning landscape, I had no idea what to expect. 

I thought, “It can not be that hard? I mean, they speak English” and the rest I will figure out. Plus, I already have a job so I am all set.

English is my second language.
Before coming to New Zealand, I learned English at school for more than 15 years. I watched all the American movies and TV series without subtitles. My relatives live in New York, which I have already visited. Plus they come here (eg. to Slovenia) every year, so I knew how to converse in English. 

Well, it doesn’t harm to say I got a language shock in New Zealand. It took me some time to adjust to the accent there. For me, the word for number 10 [ten] sounded exactly like the word for a can [tin]. By that time I was more familiar with the sound of American English and British English taught in school. But Kiwi English and dialect, that was something else. 

In October, I started working in a cafe. My boss, Keith, was the warmest and nicest person ever. The work environment was great and we got along super well with my coworkers. We are still in touch today.

Before the Christmas holidays, Keith invited all his employees for a Christmas dinner and on a picnic the next day. Picnic took place by one of the many New Zealand lakes. 

We were all there, chilling by the stunning lake. 

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Lost in translation travel story 1a
Lost in translation travel story 1a


Keith, his wife Betty, me and my flatmate were just laughing at my stupidity.

I was telling a story about how a couple of nights before I yelled at a guy when he was introducing me to his friends as ‘my mate’. I flipped out, because until that moment ‘mate’ meant a sexual partner. We were not taught in school that ‘mate’ in New Zealand and Australia also means a friend or companion. Which they (and the guy) all explained.

But the story doesn’t end here. 
It gets worse.

While we were laughing, the bosses two kids ran toward us (they were 5 and 9 by that time). Betty starts putting life vests on them because they wanted to go for a swim.

I am looking at them, observing … and then I ask.

Me: “So, Betty, they don’t know how to swim?”
Betty: “They do … well, yeah, … no …. Not, really.” 

By that time kids were all dressed up and started to run towards the lake …

Me: “Oh, so you and Keith didn’t show them how to do a doggy sty*e?”



Crickets.
Dead silence.
Shocked stares.
Crazy looks coming my way. 

And me?
All puzzled why they are all looking at me like I just flew in from Mars.

After their initial shock, they asked what I said. 

And I repeated, nice and loud, ‘doggy sty*e’. 
Not just once, twice. Because I thought that my pronunciation was off. 

Well, after the awkward moment passed, I got a fast course language lesson.
That was the day I learned the phrase ‘doggy paddle’.

In my defense, in Slovenian language ‘doggy sty*e’ or ‘po pasje’ is used for both activities. The one usually practiced in the bedroom and to describe a swimming stroke that resembles a swimming dog.

This story still makes me blush, every single time I tell it.

What is your awkward lost in translation story?
Feel free to share it in the comments.

Shine on,
Anja

Pinning is winning and sharing is caring!

This is Anja On Adventure personal travel story, how language barrier put me in a really awkward position and how expression “doggy” got lost in translation.
This is Anja On Adventure personal travel story, how language barrier put me in a really awkward position and how expression “doggy” got lost in translation.

Interested in travel content?
ALSO READ:
HOW TO BARGAIN ON YOUR TRAVELS: 17 ESSENTIAL BARGAINING TIPS
WHAT ARE THE BEST BEACHES TO STAY IN ZANZIBAR
HOW TO GET A STRANGER TO TAKE YOUR STUNNING TRAVEL PHOTO
17 BEST HOTELS IN DUBAI WITH BURJ KHALIFA VIEW

Want more Instagram caption ideas?
ALSO READ:
91 BEST QATAR CAPTIONS FOR INSTAGRAM – BEAUTIFUL AND DREAMY
121 BEST DUBAI CAPTIONS, QUOTES, PUNS AND JOKES FOR INSTAGRAM
92 BEST SUMMER CAPTIONS – ONE FOR EACH DAY OF SUMMER
185 BEST FALL AND AUTUMN CAPTIONS FOR INSTAGRAM

Do you want to travel like me?
Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources;

FLIGHTS: I use Google Flights or Skyscanner to find the best flight deals. The destination everywhere feature is perfect to find some cheap deals!

ACCOMMODATION: Booking.com is my favorite site for finding great hotel deals.

TOURS & ACTIVITIES: I like to wander around on my own, but when I want to explore with a group I book a tour with GetYourGuide.


Skipped to the good part? Here is the gist

This is Anja On Adventure personal travel story, how language barrier put me in a really awkward position and how the expression “doggy sty**” got lost in translation.

I hope you this story made you laugh. It make a smile on my face when I remember it.

If you found this blog helpful, follow me on Instagram and Pinterest. Or you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. Here you will find a lot of travel tips, itineraries, and packing hacks completely for free. If you want to see more of it and would like to encourage me to post even more, you can say thanks and buy me a coffee.


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About Anja On Adventure

anja on Adventure

Anja On Adventure is a travel blog, a collection of insider tips and information on destinations, that I visited as a solo female traveler, tour guide, teacher, yacht stewardess, and Survivor challenge tester.

Anja, is a thirty-something adventure-seeking, sun chasing, beach hopping, gin-loving, tropics enthusiast with a creative mind and sarcastic spirit, who loves coconut and mango but doesn’t like chocolate and sweets. I am passionate about all things travel, maps, and puzzles. Click here to learn more About me.

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