Posted by: Sarah | May 30, 2006

MSN = culture prep 101

Since I have returned from Colombia, friends from the conference have asked me on more than one occasion to proofread papers or applications for them that they needed to write in English, which I am always more than happy to do.

Occasionally, someone asks me how to translate something from Spanish into English (although their English skills are undoubtedly a zillion times better than my Spanish skills…). An MSN conversation tonight revealed AIESEC at work in real life, as one of my amigos de Colombia asked me how to say the name of several different fruits in English for an assignment that he was writing.

I pulled out every dictionary that I have, searched the good old online translation websites, but came up empty handed. He described to me what they tasted like, sour or sweet, seeds or not, how you eat them, what color they are, but nothing that I thought of was exactly what he was looking for. Not to worry, @’ers are creative people, right? He said that he would send me pictures of what he was talking about.

Turns out that this was no cultural difference or language barrier in communication. The pictures that he sent me looked like nothing I had ever seen before in my life. I explained that Wisconsin tends to be lacking in most of the tropical exotic fruit however, as does most of the U.S. and we finally decided that since none of these foods are grown in any English speaking country around the world, there is no English word for them….

Sarah says:
sorry i couldn’t be more help!

Andres Restrepo @EAFIT says:
well…this is a nice activity for you to get familiar with Colombia!!
Andres Restrepo @EAFIT says:
At least we laughed

Sarah says:
that’s what counts

ahhh, the true beauty of culture. and that’s why I travel.



  1. babe! I thought you were going to say the fruit! lol..I prolly wouldn’t know if you didn’t…but i did want to know!!! 🙂

  2. if that didn’t make sense…lo siento 😉

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