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January 17, 2010


Why is it that when learning a foreign language, the first words you learn are the ones most likely to get your ass kicked if you were to use them with a native speaker of that language?

“Yes, yes, I know we need to learn all the grammar and verbs and such...but how do you say “Fuck you , motherfucker?”, huh, huh? How do you say that?”

When I was in college, I had a friend who was from Gabon. Their official language was French, since they were a French colony. But, of course, they had their own native language, Fang. So I learned to say “fuck you” in Fang: Alana Wuh-See! (how it sounds, I have no idea on the spelling, or even what the alphabet looks like. I'm still waiting on “The Idiot's guide to speaking Fang” to come out. By the way, the emphasis is on the “wuh”).

Henri also let me in on how the native Gabonese referred to the whites there. They called them shaved pigs. Funny. But it got me thinking. So, I said to him, “If you call the whites shaved pigs, wouldn't that make you …?” I couldn't make out his response, but I'm pretty sure I heard an “alana wuh-see” in there.

Henri was getting his degree in engineering, and was going to go back to Gabon for a job. Before he left, he wanted to buy my deer hunting rifle, a Winchester 30-06. It seems that Gabon is overrun with pygmy elephants. Henri said they are mean little shits, and it's almost essential to have some protection if you're going for a walk, as they are apt to charge and run you over if given half the chance.  Not surprising, since a lot of short guys are the baddest motherfuckers in the room, making up for their lack of stature, I guess.  Me, I'm 6'2", and am about as aggressive as a teddy bear.

So, if you're ever in Gabon, and you find yourself being stomped into the ground by a diminutive dumbo, at least you can say “Fuck you!” to it in the native language.