04 March 2007

Lost in translation

Extract from a book on England's 16th-century colonisation attempts in Virginia:
The English had great difficulty in communicating with the Indians: [ship captain Arthur] Barlowe managed to discover that [a] tribal elder was called Granganimeo and was more than a little proud of himself when he learned the name of the surrounding countryside, Wingandacoa.  This was put into all the official paperwork and it was some months before the English realised that this unpronounceable word - which the Indians kept repeating to Barlowe - actually meant 'you've got nice clothes'.

- From 'Big Chief Elizabeth' by Giles Milton, 2000

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