Archive for Language

Slang

Slang is quiet interesting. How words within a language can be created and “only” exist in a certain geographical area or within a certain group of people, based on their profession or social status. It is fascinating that the language can be “changed” like that to suite local needs. It enriches a language and it is fun to delve into the origin of slang words, since it can sometimes teach you a lot about notions that might have been or are still present in society.

It can also be confusing. Very. Confusing.

As an outsider you might feel completly alienated when everyone around you start using slang words wich you are not familiar with. Especially the words that you cannot figure out just from the context of the rest of the conversation.

I have had a few experiences like that, where I found my self completly lost on what people were talking about. The most recent one was when people were talking about meeting up in the “Bamba”. I could not understand or guess what they were talking about. At first I thought they might be refeering to a place in town that was called “Bamba”. Then I wondered if they just used a very weird nickname for the library (in my language library is called “Bibliotek”). Even though I could have just asked one of them what “Bamba” was, I did not. But I was afraid of makeing myself look like a fool since I figured out I was the only person in the group who did not know what “Bamba” was. Instead I just went with the flow. It was about two weeks later that someone told me when I had gathered the courage to ask about “Bamba” that I was told it was slang for the school cafeteria. Oh how emberessed I felt.

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