…Even if that other language happens to be English.
Since James was from England, we didn’t anticipate there would be much of a language barrier. He spoke English. We spoke English. He had a funny accent. We are from New Jersey, so we had funny accents, too.
With all this in common, I didn’t think we would run into a problem communicating.
But when the time came to take the garbage cans out to the corner for pick up, we hit a snag.
“Hey guys, tomorrow is garbage day,” I said to my two kids and James.
“What does that mean?” James wondered. “Are we supposed to make more rubbish?”
“In the U.S. we call it garbage, not rubbish,” I explained to him. “And no, we have to take the garbage we already have out to the corner so the Garbage Men can pick it up.”
“What are Garbage Men?” he asked. “Do they keep the garbage?”
“No. They’re the guys who pick up the garbage we make and take it away.”
“Oh,” he nodded. “We call them the Bin Men.”
“Because the rubbish goes out in bins,” he said. “And then the Bin Men pick it up.”
“I guess it’s nicer to call them Bin Men than Garbage Men,” I admitted. “But that’s not their official names anyway.”
“What are they actually called?” he asked.
“Sanitation Workers.” I said. “How about in England?”
“Oh. Guess they’re pretty different then.”
He thought for a minute. “In England the Bin Men throw the bins in the middle of your driveway when they’re done.”
I snorted. “Guess they’re not so different after all.”