Another Language Story

I told a little language-learning story yesterday. Here's another one, that didn't happen to me directly. In the Urdu alphabet, the short vowels are not written. So, if you read chaat you will see an 'a'; but the letters 'cht' could be pronounced chat, chit or chut. Chat means 'roof,' but chut is a part of the female body. Once a friend of mine who was an Urdu teacher told me that in the school where he taught foreigners, one of the early reading tests always included the sentence, "When it is hot, I sleep on the roof." Invariably, some poor sucker would read, "When it is hot, I sleep on the (female body part)," and all the teachers would snicker like little boys. I guess it shows that embarrassment is an excellent way to imprint something in one's memory.

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