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Moriash Moreau: My Second Life
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Language Barrier
Lately, I've been running into something kind of odd when talking to new German residents in SL. They keep asking me about flying, right after "hello." Here's the latest conversation, from earlier this evening:

New German Resident: YOU HAVE FLY [in all-caps]
Me: What?

This is the third conversation I've had about flying in as many days. The pattern is the same in each case. I'm standing around in the Garden, twiddling with something as usual, and a new resident (first a female, then later a male, and then another female) comes up and says "Hi." I answer, and then they ask me something about flying. "You do fly?" was another one. That one actually made me rotate my camera around and check the zipper on my jeans, before I realized the physical impossibility of my painted on fly being down. Another moment of immersion, I guess.

Anyway, I'm more than a bit puzzled about this. Is there some alternate meaning to the word "fly" in German? Or some kind of common mistranslation by English speaking Germans? Or perhaps some cultural predisposition to find the oft-taken-for-granted ability to fly in SL especially fascinating? (I would find that one pretty nifty, if it were true. We all take that for granted in SL: We. Can. Fly.) Has something new been added to the German-oriented welcome areas that would make newcomers want to ask passersby specifically about flying? (No idea what that would be.) Am I being propositioned for cybersex in some culturally unique fashion? (That'd be a first for me, in any language.) Or is there something about me in particular that inspires the question?

That last one kind of makes me wonder, really. Tateru Nino (name dropping!) was kind enough to try to assuage my burning curiosity by asking around amongst her more linguistically gifted contacts in SL, but the whole "fly" meme didn't ring any bells. The consensus was that it was broken English for "Have you flown?"

This seems like an odd thing to ask someone two sentences into an initial meeting, however. Unless, of course, there's something about me in particular. All three times, I was in the Garden, wearing my trademark T-shirt and my Transmet shades. Does one or the other have some connection to an airline, travel agency, drug (???), or something else in Germany that has to do with "flying?"

Anyone have any ideas? If so, please drop me a comment. This is really quite odd!
Fly there!

I kept smiling, due reading this ;-)
If I re-translate the conversation wordly, I would suppose, that it was not a question, but a conclusion. "You have Fly" (Du bist geflogen). You Flew. Which is in fact, nothing to wonder about, in SL. I mean; how did they found you anyway? I guess not, they took a long walk, from the helping Islands :)
In the second sentence, they prolly ask you a (simple) question. "Where and from?". Imo this say: Where're you from, and where you wanted to fly...? ;-)
At least, I realy can't add some discloser here, to your theories. Also for me (german) it's a riddle. It could might happen, that a lot of real young Germans axplore SL now, since they broadcasted some about Second Life, in German Prime-time TV last weeks.

btw: It took me about 15 seconds, to conquer the maze, first time ;-))

best regards,
Dandare Daniels
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