Friday, January 8, 2010

The Correct Pronunciation but Miscontextualized

Last night some of us Westerners went to dinner at a restaurant we call Cannons. We were given a private room on the second floor, and then Preston and I went downstairs to look at the menu on the wall. After we ordered, we went back upstairs, passing the waitress on the way.

"{Nine o'clock?}" she asked.

We looked at each other. It was only 7 something.

Waving her away, we entered our room. At the table, we were still confused. A few minutes later she tried again: "{Would you like to order alcohol?}"

Oh, the wrong jiǔ, not 九, "nine," but 酒, "alcohol."

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