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May 31, 2013


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Cathy Miller

So glad you passed the test, Lynn. ☺

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Yes, me too!

As always, I appreciate your stopping by, Cathy.



I was born and raised in the Midwest, but I lived in Paris for two years so I know it is common to say "Merci de votre compréhension" in French. Since I am used to seeing that sentence, the cross-cultural translation you mentioned doesn't sound that strange to me! It's frightening how these things sink in and erode my ability to judge the quality of a sentence written in my native language.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Lindsey. Thanks for sharing your experience. It is a good reminder of the challenges of people who speak across languages. I have heard Spanish speakers say "The window gives to the avenue." The words are perfect in Spanish, but in English they confuse us.


César Cuevas

Hello Lynn. For spanish speakers "thank you for your comprehension" sounds natural.

"comprehension" sounds like "comprensión" in spanish, that means kind of "understanding" in english.

Kind regards.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello, César. Thank you for your helpful comment.


Jennifer Conway

I'm still getting caught up on Lynn's blog entries that I missed while on an unexpected, extended medical leave, so pardon my delayed response.

I love the nuances of language. With that explained, I interpret(comprehend, if you will) "comprehension" and "understanding" differently with agreement (sort of) from Merriam-Webster. Comprehension is an act or action of grasping with intellect. Understanding is sympathetic comprehension, so understanding can be both an intellectual and emotional response. "Thank you for your comprehension" I interpreted as "You need the ring the bell if you want to get in." "Thank you for your understanding" I interpreted as "You need to ring the bell if you want to get in, and we appreciate your patience for having to do so."

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Jennifer. Thanks for your perceptive comment. Which do you think the people at the hotel in Luxemburg intended--comprehension or understanding?


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