Communication is not easy even among native speakers…

先日[せんじつ]、朝日[あさひ]新聞[しんぶん]で興味[きょうみ][ぶ]い(= interesting)ニュースを読[]みました。

I read an interesting news report on Asahi Shimbun Newspaper the other day.

あるところで列車[れっしゃ]の架線[かせん](= overhead wires)にビニール(= vinyl tapes)が絡[から]まっている(= to tangle up)のが見[]つかったそうです。車掌[しゃしょう] (= train conductor)が、係[かか]りの人[ひと]に連絡[れんらく]すると「とって送[おく]って」と言[]われたそうです。それで、その人[ひと]は手[]で絡[から]んでいるビニールをとり除[のぞ]いた(= to get rid of)そうです。

でも係[かか]りの人[ひと]が言[]ったのは「撮[]って」、つまり写真[しゃしん]をとってメールで送[おく]ってください、という意味[いみ]だったのです。聞[]いた人[ひと]は「取[]って」、つまり取[]り除[のぞ]いてください、だと思[おも]ったんだそうです。係[かか]りの人[ひと]は「写[しゃ]メ(a photo taken by a mobile phone (and then sent as an attached file to an e mail message from the phone))で撮[]って」と言[]ったそうですが、「写[しゃ]メ」は短[みじか]いことばなので、よく聞[]こえなかったんでしょうね。
架線[かせん]には1500ボルトの高圧[こうあつ]電流[でんりゅう] (= high-voltage current)が通[とお]っていますから、このビニールを「取[]る」というのは、とても危[あぶ]ない(= dangerous)ことでした。幸[さいわ]い(= fortunately)、誰[だれ]も怪我[けが] (= injury)をしませんでした。
One day vinyl tapes or something was found tangled up with overhead wires of railways. A train conductor reported this to a person in charge in the raiway company and then was told “please take it and send it.” So the conductor got rid of the tapes from the wires.
Actually what the person in charge said was to take a “SHA-ME” (in this case “sha” means to take a photo and “me” means “mail”) and send it (= the photo).” The person apparently said “sha-me wo totte” (=totte is to take, wo is a grammar device required in this sentence structure) but since “sha-me” is such a short word, the train conductor did not hear that. Thus he followed the instruction “totte” (= to take): took the vinyl tapes away by hand.
The fact the train conductor was not aware of was that high-voltage current (1,500 V) was present in the overheard wires. What he did could have been very dangerous. Fortunately nobody hurt.
How tricky our communication sometimes is!

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