Pakistan anti-US protesters with surprisingly positive message

This image serves to demonstrate the importance of understanding the idiomatic differences between languages – in English, the verb go has many uses and facets of meaning, but in some languages the role it plays is far more limited. In some Middle Eastern languages, for example, it usually means to leave, rather than being more of a general usage verb.

So it was, then, that protesters in an anti-America rally in Pakistan were actually giving the USA an unintentionally positive message…


“Go America go” would usually be interpreted in English as a motivational cheer, rather than an order to leave. This is one example of a cultural or linguistic misunderstanding of vocabulary can actually lead to the opposite idea being implied than what was intended.

This can be very easy to do. Here’s another example of a similar misunderstanding, this time in Chinese: the verbs ‘to buy’ and ‘to sell’ not only have very similar Chinese characters (买 and 卖, respectively), but also have almost the exact same pronunciation, with only a tonal difference to tell the two apart (mǎi and mài, respectively).