MySpace today launched a Korean language version in Seoul, South Korea according to an Associated Press story by Hyung-Jin Kim that was featured in papers and websites around the world.
“MySpace will be the one and only platform that provides an opportunity for Korean users to easily meet friends around the globe, surpassing the hindrance of language and culture,” co-founder and chief executive Chris DeWolfe was reported as saying in an statement earlier.
The article continued to say that “some participants at the forum where DeWolfe spoke expressed skepticism about MySpace’s prospects.”
“I think one major problem facing MySpace is whether and how they can overcome the language barrier,” said Lee Da-young, a 20-year-old university student who was quoted in the article. “I wonder how many Koreans can communicate with those abroad in English.”
Whether communicating across a language barrier on the Internet, where you may not know the person with whom you are speaking, or whether you are face to face in a foreign land, mistakes are bound to happen, but over the long haul in international relationship building that’s just par for the course, and hopefully with humor and apology these moments actually bring people closer with funny stories share.
Probably the worst, all time snafu I made with language was the time I asked my new mother-in-law to “pass the penises’.” It was my first trip to Brazil, so I did not know the family well. We had all gone out to dinner together, me, my husband, two or three of his sisters and their families, and, of course, my mother-in law.
Cute little nephew Andre was two or three at the time, sitting across from me, and he kept picking up carrot sticks from the ‘couvert’ and throwing them at me. His mom was sitting next to him, back turned and engrossed in conversation, so I thought I would just ask someone to pass me the carrots so they were out of his reach.
Let’s see, carrots, carrots…ah…caralhos! “Por favor, pasa os caralhos,” I said politely and with a big smile to Dona Antonia, accidentally replacing caralho (penis) for cenoura (carrot).
Kick goes her foot under the table, connecting with my husband’s ankle.. “What did I do?!” my husband turned and asked his mother with a jump. “I see you’ve taught her Portuguese,” said mom.