I was driving to work today, and singing along to a song from the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch, because – I’m me. I like the Hawaiian songs, so naturally try to sing along, even though I do not speak Hawaiian, so it sounds kind of like this “Oh like oh e maya a una de tala a oof mana mana a eee eee eee eee oh.”
Then it occurred to me that I didn’t know what their language was really called. Is it really called Hawaiian? Cause I live in the United States, and we don’t speak United States. Nor do we speak American. We do speak English (supposedly), but New England English is way different than Southern English, or California English. And if we get online, our English doesn’t look like English at all. I once looked at an old text and realized I had not capitalized my “I”s, and I cringed because I like to use the word “I” a lot and it just looked like I had barfed preschool on the phone. Or teen, take your pick.
People speak other languages here too, but we expect everyone to also speak English, cause we are Americans, even if we actually borrowed English from the English, you know, before those guys screwed it up so much. I mean really – it’s not a jumper. It’s a sweater. A jumper is something little girls wear, like overalls but with a skirt. And we don’t take lifts, nor do we drive lorries, our cars don’t wear bonnets, and use a freaking article when you say “I’m going to university.” It’s like we Americans have to tell you everything.
But England is weird too, because they don’t just go by England. They also go by Great Britain, and call themselves British, not Greatish, or Greatish Britainish. Or they could be the United Kingdom if you include the unimportant countries around them, like Scotland. I think. But again, no United Kindomners. Also do you speak Scottish and Irish, or Gaelic, or just English cause everyone has to speak English because we do? I don’t know. I have not even bothered to Google this. I do know that even the most racist people love foreign accents, so if you have one, come on over. We’ll go crazy for you. Look how successful the Beatles were. It wasn’t cause of their haircuts.
Now Spain has it right, because their people speak Spanish, but then Mexico speaks Spanish too. But the two are not actually the same. Which means the Spanish I was taught by a white Anglo woman was Spain Spanish, and does little to help me speak Mexican Spanish, and there are a lot more Mexicans around Texas than there are Spaniards. Just ask Donald Trump. I took several years of Spanish, but still can’t keep up with them because they speak, like, fast. And then you like translate in your head, and have to respond, and I just can’t keep up with all of that. Yet I see some people switch effortlessly from Spanish to English in one breath and I wonder if they are some sort of magician.
Then there’s France. They speak French. Fair enough. But we have people in Louisiana who also speak French. Also Cajun, whatever the heck that is. Parts of Canada speak French too. They don’t speak Canadian, unless you count those guys who used to say “hooser” on Saturday Night Live.
On to Japan. They speak Japanese. Yay. Also English. And Engrish, which is a combination of English and Japanese that usually results in hilarity. Like small children wearing shirts with rather inappropriate words, while smiling big happy smiles. Of course Americans are known for getting tattoos done in Chinese or Japanese characters (they’re the same, right?) and end up permanently affixed with stupid words. Just because the guy says it means “warrior” doesn’t mean it’s right. You could be walking around with the word “sponge” on your bicep. I bet our Asian neighbors love it when they see this. Asian is another word you can call Japanese, or Chinese, or Korean, or Vietnamese, because a lot of Americans aren’t going to bother with the difference. Because we’re too busy playing their video games.
Africa! Now this is one crazy place. They don’t all speak African, you guys. They have different languages and dialects, and if I looked it up, I could probably tell you one of them. I think they sound very cool, even if they aren’t saying anything important, like in the introduction to the Lion King. I heard it’s translated something like “It’s a lion, look it’s a lion” which is better than “Llama, llama, penguins in pajamas” which my friend mentioned, and now I hear every time that movie comes on. I asked a student from Africa what some names meant, and Simba means “lion”, Mufasa means “king”, and Scar means “bad guy”. Way to be creative, Disney!
There are a lot more countries, but I know most of you have no attention span and probably quit somewhere around England (Australians speak English too! Sort of!) so I’ll stop here. Suffice it to say, language is very confusing, especially when it doesn’t even match the country name, so I think everyone should have to change theirs to make it easier (sort of like when you guys all went metric and we didn’t, but yet you still didn’t change back to feet and inches). So a “good day” to those who speak Canadian, United Kingdom, Louisiana, Asian, African, and those other places on the map. You’re welcome.