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In speaking with someone who is learning English, it is not necessary to speak their native tongue–but sometimes, it’s helpful. In a related note, did you know that in Arabic, they use the same word for “want” and “need?” We did know this, but we’d forgotten. So last night. Donn said to his friend, “I’ll be home Tuesday afternoon if you want to stop by” and the friend said, “Do you need me?” and Donn said, “No.” He saw an unmistakeable hurt flash across his friend’s face. And then, fortunately, he remembered his Arabic. “I don’t need you, but I want you to come,” he explained, going on about “need” vs. “want.” His friend smiled in relief.

Can you imagine? “Do you want me to come?” “No.” It’s funny and sad at the same time.

May 2012
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