The Church Is Hangry

, , , | Romantic | October 17, 2018

My boyfriend and I are a multilingual couple. My first language is English, his first language is French, and the first language that we started talking to each other in was Polish, in which we’re both semi-conversational. We’re both also studying each others’ first languages to improve our communication, and between our three languages have sort of calibrated our normal conversations.

We are planning on getting married next year, and our church requires a private interview with the priest in preparation for marriage. The priest doesn’t know either of us, and speaks English fairly well, but not perfectly, and doesn’t speak any French. Our Polish isn’t really up to the high-level vocabulary of the interviews, so it’s all in English. When we’re interviewing together, everything is fine.

When it’s my turn to interview alone, we have a few difficult moments where the priest phrases a question in a weird way or pronounces a word such that I have to ask for him to repeat it a few times for me to understand, such as, “Are you agree with the church teaching about XYZ?” But overall, it’s okay. As we end the interview, I tell the priest that my boyfriend might have a bit of difficulty understanding him if he speaks very quickly, and the priest says he’s realized that and promises to speak slowly.

I sit outside the office and wait for my boyfriend’s interview to be over. After about ten minutes, the priest opens the office door and asks me if I know another word for “permanent” in French. I tell him no, but offer my phone for Google translating. He shuts the door and the interview continues for a while.

When it’s over, my boyfriend explains that the difficulty was that he heard the question as, “Are you angry with the church teaching about marriage being permanent?”

He replied, “No.”

It took a fair amount of repetition for the priest to clear that particular question up, and I learned that my boyfriend has a lot of difficulty hearing the differences between, “agree,” “angry,” and, “hungry.”

Unfiltered Story #122762

, , | Unfiltered | October 7, 2018

So, the local community church serves a free dinner on the last Friday of the month. My family goes to it. I was lucky enough to have off that evening from work, so I joined them. This legit happened:

Me-*leaving the church and entering the parking lot*

I see an elderly man walking up the parking lot.

Man-*mumbles something that I can’t make out because of the distance*

Me-“I’m sorry sir, what was it that you said?” (Mind you, I’m using my work voice which is very quiet and sweet)

Man-“Is. The. Free. Dinner. Still. Going. On? Were you able to understand me that time or do you need me to translate it in another language for you?!”

Me-“yes. The dinner is still going on for another 10 minutes. Right in those doors. And I’m sorry sir, I couldn’t quite make out what you were saying.”

Man-“I can translate it, you know. Make you understand better. I do know French”

Me-“um….okay? Enjoy your dinner”

Needless to say, I walked away feeling very confused about the whole thing. And also the attitude he had in his voice. As I walked away, I secretly hoped that the kitchen had closed and refused him service.

Some Background Would Have Been Nice

, , , , , | Working | September 21, 2018

(I work as a graphic designer for a church. The pastor does a sermon series every few weeks, and he wants new artwork themed for the series for the Sunday bulletin. We are between series, and the pastor has not told me what his next series will be, but he’s starting a new one soon. It’s nearing the end of the day on Friday, the last day for my work week, when this happens…)

Pastor: “Okay, I’m staring the new series this Sunday. The sermon title is ‘[Title],’ and the sermon series is going to be called ‘[Series].’” *snarky now* “But if you haven’t worked on the artwork for the sermon series, I guess you can just put a black background on the bulletin for worship.”

Me: *pause* “The sermon series you just now told me about? Yeah, I haven’t had time to work on that yet.”

Pastor: *sighs in annoyance* “Well… just work on it for next Sunday and use a black background this Sunday!”

I Am Me

, , , | Related | August 22, 2018

(My maternal grandmother and my mother look very much alike, to the point that they are sometimes mistaken for each other. One day, it leads to this gem.)

Woman From Church: *to my grandmother* “Hello, dear, and how is your mother?”

Grandmother: *realizing she’s been mistaken for my mother* “I am my mother!”

Usually It Means The Opposite

, , , , | Learning | July 23, 2018

(At church camp one year, I’m a small group leader for the fourth- and fifth-grade girls. We get paired up with the boys for crafts and games. One day, when we’re doing the craft, this happens. They’re making something with beads, and each color represents something.)

Craft Leader: *holds up white bead* “Who knows what white stands for?”

Kids: “Purity.”

Craft Leader: “Does anyone know what purity means?”

Boy: “Is that when your start to grow hair, and your body starts changing and stuff?”

(Cue every adult in the room trying not to laugh.)

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