Non-English wives and their English

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by Bugsy, Sep 5, 2006.

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  1. I wasn't sure whether to put this in the International section or not. Anyway.

    I know lots of squaddies are married to non-English wives and I was wondering if they get as much humour from the situation as I do from being married to my Italian wife.

    The “problem” is that, while she has no difficulties at all with English, it’s still a foreign language for her and she often doesn’t differentiate between formal and informal speech. More specifically, since we’ve been married 27 years, she’s adopted more than a little “squaddie-speak” from me, which she uses indiscriminately in everyday conversation with civvies. A few examples:

    Mrs Bugsy after admiring a woman’s very white washing: “Oh, issa wonderful! Whicha dhobi-dust do you a use?”

    Mrs Bugsy shopping in the supermarket with a friend: “Dissa will take a yonks iffa we don’ta get oura drills squared away.”

    Mrs Bugsy admiring a newborn baby: “He’sa wonderful! I betta you’re a chuffeda to NAAFIs, eh?”

    Mrs Bugsy to the snooty Head Waiter of an extremely swanky restaurant we dined at: “Excuse a me, sir, butta canna you directa me to da bogga forra biddies, please?”

    Mrs Bugsy after missing the last bus home on a girlies’ night out: “We canna eithera stagga onna ‘ere, or tabba itta backa to a base.”

    Stuff like this happens constantly, and the most hilarious part is the puzzled grids of the people she’s talking to. I crack up regularly.

    Anybody else with a non-English wife had similar experiences?

  2. Whats up mate, sounds like your old lady is speaking proper english as laid down in queens R&R and everyone else is out of step.
  3. I'm sure Convoy and Rigger can knock up a comedy script and get your missus a starring role Bugsy!
  4. All they'd have to do is follow her for a day and just write down what she says to people, Biccies_AB. :D :D :D

    However, now you come to mention it......

  5. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    The former Mrs VB was from Bosnia, and spoke English, German and Hungarian fluently, as well as her mother tongue. I don't recall her ever having a problem with English, or making linguistic faux pas.

    However, I remember being at a Mess function, and the CO's wife came over; I introduced Mrs VB. Mrs CO looked at her as if she was a cute puppy, and said, in an immensely patronising tone: "Do you speak any English dear?" As quick as a flash Mrs VB looked at her in the same way, and said, in English: "Yes, but if you would rather chat in Serbo-Croat or Hungarian I don't mind".
  6. I dont know about Itallian, she sounds more like Jar Jar Binks from star wars
  7. When my wife and me were still dating, a definite party stopper was when she innocently asked "so what exactly does "You F****ng C**t" mean then ??
  8. ... Oh dear. My Mum was a non-white pad-wife so we all hung around the the 'mixed' families. The only white pad-wives to hang around with us 'cocoa-pops' were German, N. Irish and the Scots, most of the English had their own wee clique. Needless to say I had to have elocution lessons when I started school because I could speak English properly and had more speech impediments than a minibus full of special needs.

    ... The classics are the mixed metaphors, eg. " you make mess like skeleton wnaking" had to be one of my fav's. Didn't understand the time, but the coffee my Dad spat out over Mum was the combat indicator.
  9. Thanks Mods for editing out that previous post
  10. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Wor Lass is English but I have a couple of classics to share. Our first pad was in a block of four flats. Neighbour had married a German. Rose had become naturalised and was very proud of being British even if she spoke English like an English equivalent of Rangi Ram from It Ain't Half Hot Mum. And yes, like Rangi Ram. she did regularly complain about, "... ze facking Chermans."


    Outside Allanbrooke Bks, Paderborn, was a very nice pub called the Braumeister. Allanbrooke is on a skewed junction, so right behind the Brauie on the far side of the second road, was another little pub. It was quieter as most Hoosars couldn't manage an outflanking manoeuvre round the Brauie. Suited me well. Sadly it was so quiet it later changed hands and got converted into what might have become a brothel (ISTR another brothel opened just along the road on the edge of town outbound in the direction of Schloss Neuhaus). It was so quiet I simply cannot remember what it was called.

    The barmaid was English and fit. (So fit, I believe she moved to the new establishment up the road ...) We shared some good times.

    The landlord was a grossly fat possibly Italian who owned a wodge of business in Paderborn / Sennelager and was rarely seen except arriving or departing in what ISTR was a Renault 4 van, easily confused with a 2CV van. He was so heavy, the van tipped right over onto the shox when he got in.

    The landlady (his wife) was a lovely woman of maybe 30 and dress size of no more than 10. I would have. She was, IIRC from the Canary Islands. But she had picked up excellent English. When she was covering for the barmaid on her night off, I'd enjoy the landlady's company instead.

    So one night it was incredibly quiet. The establishment was populated with landlady, barmaid, a Boxhead and me. Landlady reaches into the till and pulls out a slack handful of DMs from the till and the four of us gave it rooty-toot on the pinball machine.

    It's all going swimmingly, a good time being had by all. Then the landlady made a silly mistake. "Facking ball," she said with pure venom as she smacked the machine hard.

    Now this was entirely out of character for the normally demure, well-spoken and pretty landlady and we all sucked in air through teeth.

    "What???" she asked.
    "Do you know what you just said?"
    "Yeah, 'Facking ball.'"
    "Do you know what the word 'F*cking' means?"
    "Yeah it's what squaddies always say to me: "Gis another facking beer.'"

    We explained to her what the word meant. She screamed and hid in the cellar for the rest of the evening. Boxhead and I had to share the barmaid all night.
  11. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    The Wifeinblack, a very eloquent American lady from an old, monied family, holder of a Master's degree etc was recently heard in the kitchen describing something as "MINGING"

    Oh how my heard swelled with pride.
  12. Shrew you tw@t, - I'll have to spend the rest of the day cleaning tea off of keyboard and screen!!! :D :D
  13. Virobono - love the reply! My missus can speak English better than the natives, as well as Romanian, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian & French. Together with my Cockney and German I think we are sorted for now!

    Still trying to get her to say minging though! :wink:
  14. My cousin married a septic she'd met at SHAPE, she invited him round for Christmas once..... during the meal somebody asked how, if he was back in the US would he be celebrating Christmas.....

    He said in his finest American drawl "Where i'm from, it's tradition for us to spend Christmas morning Coon hunting"

    Needless to say there was a few moments of uncomfortable silence, broken by my old dear choking on her roast spud at the thought of dinning with a member of the KKK........

    When probed further as to what Coon hunting involved, the realisation was that he ment Raccoons.......
  15. May moons ago in Gemany we lived next door to a guy with a lovely German wife - Alex- who tried very hard to keep up with the finer points of the english language. One evening they were watching TV and someone said "though sh*t!" she asked her husband what it meant and all he could think of quickly was "hard luck"

    Fast forward to the next wive's club meeting: the OCs wife turns up late and says "sorry I'm late but I had a flat tyre"

    You've guessed it - Alex says "well thats tough sh*t" :D