Lost in Translation

Dear Frens, this is Dori. *wavy paws*. I hope this week has started off on a good foot for yoo, without the usual drama that accompanies Mondays. Purrsonally, I don't understand the growling over the first day of the work week, but then I've never worked a day in my life. 

In fact, I don't know the meaning of work. But that's another topic for another day. Today I feel I must address something I became aware of while eavesdropping on my pawrents over the weekend. 

To set the scene, I was draped over the sofa arm with my attention focused on Momma's dinner plate while Daddy sat a few cats down at the opposite end of the sofa, shoveling his food into his mouth as fast as he could while ChauncieMarie leaned heavily into him, hoping for a bite to fall into her mouth.

This is not at all unusual, although typically it is Peaches who is wiping her drippy nose onto Daddy's arm while he is eating. Opie tends to sprawl between my pawrents, purring loudly with the idea that everyone will hear how adorable he is and therefore share their noms. He's 3 for 10 this week, so there is indeed a method to his madness.

My method is to stare lovingly into Momma's eyes, even if she isn't looking at me, with an occasional pat to her face to remind her I'm there to help her lose weight by relieving her of the food on her plate. This scenario is reenacted every night my pawrents eat at home. The expensive Amish table in the next room is not for human dining, rather it is a place for Candy or Wabbit to sprawl when the window hammocks are taken by Fwank and KC.

So, getting back to what I wanted to talk about today... which has nothing to do with eating or sprawling or purring, or even wet noses wiped across Daddy's arm. It has to do with Ameowican's speaking a second language. Like Italian.

The reason I bring this up is because a teevee commercial came on while my pawrents were not sharing a single fweakin' bite of their noms about a European cruiseline where yoo could sail the world like Vikings on rivers, and go on an Italian Sojourn from Rome to Venice.

Daddy told Momma that was on his Bucket List, and Momma replied between the bites that she was not sharing with me that she wondered how difficult a cruise like that would be since they didn't speak Italian. Daddy said he went to Poland when he was a kid and didn't speak Polish, although he picked up the language pretty fast, to which Momma said, "All you picked up were the naughty words the other boys in camp taught you in exchange for you teaching them naughty American words."

So after the commercial ended and the plates were licked clean, I left the sofa feeling hungry and filled with disappointment. Not only are my pawrents stingy about sharing their noms, but they are ignorant about speaking a second language.

I speak Meow, of course, but I also understand Human. This is a phenomenon known as receptive multilingualism where one is able to understand another language without being able to speak it.

I'm willing to bet every fur in yoor home is also capable of receptive multilingualism.

So, for those of yoo like my pawrents who would like to vacation in Italy, but do not speaka da language, I'm here to learn yoo Italian.

Why do yoo have to learn Italian if yoo have no Bucket List with a visit to Italy on it? Well, listen, I'm not here to carve out a Bucket List for yoo, but it might help to have a back up language in case yoo go to some fancy spaghetti place where the waiters bring yoo extra garlic bread only if yoo say, "Prego" when they serve yoo, and yoo aren't referring to the pasta sauce in a jar. 

So for the sake of argument, let's say yoo suddenly find yoorself checking into a hotel in Rome because yoo got an incredible deal with yoor Senior Discount. Here are my suggestions to help yoo in case yoo aren’t happy with yoor woom:

English: We made these reservations six months ago! 

Italy-speak: Weeee maaade theeese rez-SUE-va-shuns seeex months ah-go!

English: Then we will sleep here in the lobby. 

Italy-speak: Weee will emmm-bar-ASS yoo with LOUD snorr-ing.

English: We reserved a room with a view. 

Italy-speak: Wee waaant a BET-ter woom that NO facea da land-fill.

English: The sheets are still damp.

Italy-speak: Did yoooo eee-vun try to DRY theeese things?

English: What is that smell?

Italy-speak: Eeet steeeenks lika old GO-ata in heeere.

English: Something is living in the bathroom.

Italy-speak: If eeet bitey me, I gonna WAKE da WHOLE-tel with SCREEEMS.

English: There is no hot water. The cold water is brown.

Italy-speak: Dair eees NO haaawt WA-ter. Da COLD WA-ter eees daaark like CHA-co LA-tay.

English: Is this a towel? It’s the size of a postage stamp.

Italy-speak: Ees dees a tow-el? Eeet whoa-ta cov-ver my BOO-tay.

English: Four stars my ass! This hotel is the equivalent to the Motel 6 back home.

Italy-speak: FORRR POINT SEEEX starrrr-zzz my ASS! I am gonna TWEEET about theeese crappy hotel unless you-a gimma da freee breakfast.


I hope my helpful translations will enable yoo to  converse eloquently on yoor next trip to Italy. And iffa yoo geet any complaints, eez notta ma problem-o. I am a kitteh. I do notta speak-a da engleesh.

Until Next Time...


  1. Dori, Da Boyz sit there until they can sneak a paw onto a plate!
    Sometimes, I have to put my arm around my plate, to guard it from sneaky paws.
    As for speaking Italian while visiting Italy, my sister was just there a few weeks ago, and everyone speaks English, or has a co-worker who can.
    The hard part about visiting Ireland, for me, was that folks WERE speaking English, but the accent was foreign to mine ears, and I almost cried in the airport when we first landed.

    1. My momma has to have the Captions on teevee when she watches the movie The Commitments for the same reason.

  2. Bwhahahahaha! Uh Dat's ah a too funnieeee! We laffed ana laffed! We gonna speeka Italian fur a few days cuz we like-a it so mucha.

    1. Squee! I'm now a pawfessional language instwuctor. So proud!

  3. Thank you for the language lesson. Now I can sound like a mobster. :)

    1. Ima here to help, Miz Ellen. Iffa yoo needa me to twanslate for yoo, Ima here. Love, Dori

  4. Hey Dori, I had a bucket list once and first on it was to find the bucket!

  5. On our cruises the head waiters are usually Italian, so your lessons will be invaluable next time we speak to them.


Your comments make us purr. Thank you for taking the time to tell us what you think.