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More Than Words
by Expat Focus columnist, Aisha Isabel Ashraf
Same language, different meanings
Before moving to Canada the only consideration I gave to language was with regard to accent; I remembered hearing somewhere that Canadians had a softer accent than their neighbours across the border and I was relieved; easing in gently sounded like a good plan. I was coming from England so it wasn’t as though I was going to be unintelligible to anyone – or so I thought.
I ran into problems on day two. My husband and I were staying in a hotel while we secured rental accommodation. I had a tiny cut on my finger so on my way out to dinner one evening I stopped at reception to ask for a plaster. The young woman at the desk blinked at me and shifted uncomfortably in her chair before giving a little cough and enquiring in uncertain tones whether I'd like an elastic band...
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