Lost in Translation – French Humor

John Konrad
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October 25, 2007

Tim’s Times has a conversation that put a big smile on our faces and reminded me of my favorite TV commercial. Here’s the story:

You have to imagine a heavy French accent and a heavy East European accent replying

French VTS- What kind of vessel are you?

Tanker- We are oil tanker.

French VTS- What kind of ‘ull ‘ave you? (silent h in front of ave and ull)

Tanker- ‘ull ‘ave?

French VTS – yes ‘ull, what kind of ‘ull ave you?

Tanker- please repeat question, not understanding?

French VTS- You are a tanker, what of ‘ULL ave you, a single ‘ULL, a double ‘ULL ?

Tanker- no we have no HOLE in ship, everything OK, no HOLE

French VTS-(exasperated) you have no ‘ULL? You have single or double bottom?

Tanker( penny finally drops) ah we are double HULL vessel…….

Frsnch VTS (audible relief in voice) OK sir sank you, ‘ow many crew onboard?(silent h in front of ow)

Tanker(confused again) ‘OW?

and so on and so on, maybe we should all learn French…..


Tim has many other interesting sea stories at his blog: Tim’s Times

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