In addition to the “Facts of the Day” text message service, I subscribe to the “German Phrase of the Weekend” service. Usually, these phrases consist of translations of such fascinating tidbits as “Remember to bring your sunscreen,” and “I need to see an internist.” In case you’re wondering, those are actual examples. They are, I tend to think, generally more enthralling in German. For example: “I need to see an internist” is “Ich muss einen Internisten aufsuchen.” That last verb (which, as I’ve pointed out, doesn’t mean what it sounds like on the surface) brings me to my point. The crux of the matter is this: some perfectly innocuous sayings from other languages sound positively indecent to the English-speaking ear (the reverse situation is equally true, I’m sure). Here’s the case in point: the English phrase is “What are the teams?” This sounds innocent enough. But here’s the German: “Was sind die Mannschaften?” That sounds pretty ribald to your average English-speaker (or at least those with filthy minds like mine). It’s not very mature, I suppose, but there’s still a part of me that giggles a little bit when I think of a certain past tense conjugation of the German verb “essen,” which means “to eat.” It is “ass.” Yes, ha ha ha. That’s beyond hilarious in a junior high school German class.