Friday, June 27, 2008

Flush the Toilet

I was listening to an interesting podcast this morning. One of the hosts said that the acid test to see if someone can really speak a language that they claim to speak is to ask them if they know how to say "flush the toilet" in that language.

Apparently each language has its own idiomatic way to express this. In French you would say "pull the chain." In Spanish you would say "tirar de la cadena." I didn't know that until right now so I can't claim to be able to speak Spanish.

I wonder, however, about languages such as Zulu. Do they really have an idiomatic way to express something that is so new to the culture/language? Please could all the Zulu speakers who read this respond with a comment...


Anonymous said...

There are two zulu options of which i am aware. the first is uflushi which is fairly self explanatory, the second is uku shaya itoileti which translated means to hit the toilet.

Guy Ellis said...

Stone the crows if they don't have an idiomatic expression for it. Thanks Mike.