Saturday, May 12, 2012

Setting naming conventions for international audiences straight.

So the place in Budapest where I'm staying is called the K9 Residence.  What I need to say next depends on your native language.  Please skip to the subheading that best describes you.

Native English Speakers

No, the place doesn't have anything to do with dogs, nor can one jokingly say that they "treat you like one".  The name comes from how it's number 9 on the street Karoly Korut, and no one ever alerted them, apparently, that K9 is a common shorthand for "dog" in English.  (Or perhaps they did learn that much, but deemed it too late to change.)

Non-Native English Speakers

Hey, did you know that in English, K9 is a common symbol or abbreviation for "dog"?  Yeah, it comes from how it's pronounced like "canine", the adjective for dog based on its Latin root canis.  Remember that movie K-9?  Yeah, kinda like that.

Anyway, I don't expect all of this internationalization to go perfectly for everyone, but, well, y'all could have saved me from having to explain stuff to a lot of people of different native tongues...


Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact, in American English at least, K9 doesn't refer dogs per se (that's reserved for canine), but rather the police dog units.

George said...

You must have had your tongue lodged very firmly in your cheek when you wrote this, considering that a dog in Hungarian is a 'kutya'. Perhaps for Hungarians the address is the house of the 9 dogs? :-)