Talk Like a Local: Would You Like to Dance?

Talk Like a Local — By Alexi Ueltzen on November 4, 2009 at 11:31 am

Asking someone to dance is nerve-wracking enough in your own language (What if they say “no”? What if they sweat on me? What if I step on their feet?), but add to that an unfamiliar destination, weird music and a foreign tongue? No, thank you. See the below formula:

[ DancePartnerRequest x ForeignLanguage (customary performance anxiety + unfamiliar music)] = $%*&^@!

The stress factor goes up exponentially. It’s science. And because no one wants to ask that cute brunette at the bar for a dance while sporting giant, underarm sweat circles, we’ve compiled the smoothest, suavest ways people ask each other to dance around the world.

So put on your dancing shoes – and another layer of deodorant – and get your boogie (or some phrase actually used since 1972) on.

In France:
(While wearing a top hat, evening dress or gloves) Voulez-vous danser avec moi?
(While wearing jeans, holding a beer or sweating) Veut-tu danse avec moi?

In Germany:
(To strangers) Möchten Sie mit mir tanzen?
(To friends) Möchtest Du mit mir tanzen?
(To friends who have seen you do really, really embarrassing things) Magst du tanzen?

In Italy:
(With great aplomb and dignity) Vuoi ballare con me?
(With friendliness and impish charm) Balliamo?

In Japan:
(Adjust tone of voice and tightness of pants according to the formality of the occasion) Isshoni odorimasenka?

In Greece:
(While yachting between Greek Islands) Thélete na horépsete mazí mu?
(While looking for people who will invite you on their yacht) Thélis na horépsis mazí mu?

Want to know how to ask in Macedonian, Occitan or Wolof? Check out more “Would you like to dance” translations here.

[Photo: Ernst Vikne/Creative Commons]

Tags: dance, slang, translation

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