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Comical Mistakes When Speaking a Foreign Language

 

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  #1  
Old March 05, 2011, 10:42 AM
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Comical Mistakes When Speaking a Foreign Language

Here's mine....

Soon after I started to learn Spanish I went in a shoe shop and asked the teenage assistant for a pair I liked in a size forty three. She got them from the window and said they were all they had - a forty two, but she insisted that I should try them anyway.

I was in my beach togs so I took off my flip-flops and sqeezed my feet into them - far too small. Eager to make a sale she said they might stretch after a week or two's wear. I said < No, son muy pequeños>, then I was going to say that besides I wasn't wearing socks, but I forgot the word.

After a few seconds it came to me (or so I thought), so I added <además no llevo calzoncillos>, she supressed a smile, then went behind the curtain to ask her mother for another size (she said) and I heard them both laughing.

When I left it occurred to me that I'd made a mistake, but it wasn't until I referred to my dictionary that I realized that calzoncillos were underpants, and the word I should have said was calcetines!

Last edited by Sancho Panther; March 06, 2011 at 03:16 AM.
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  #2  
Old March 05, 2011, 11:57 AM
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That's priceless, Sancho!

A much less funny example happened to me when I was ordering coffee at a local latino café. The young cashier asked me how I wanted it and I said "para tomar". The cashier hesitated and looked at me like I'd offended her. I didn't know what I'd done, so I stood there puzzled. Luckily, we were both rescued by the smiling older barista standing nearby who told me what I wanted to say was "para llevar".
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Old March 05, 2011, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancho Panther View Post
Here's mine....

Soon after I started to learn Spanish I went in a shoe shop and asked the teenage assistant for a pair I liked in a size forty three. She got them from the window and said they were all they had - a forty two, but she insisted that I should try them anyway.

I was in my beach togs so I took off my flip-flops and sqeezed my feet into them - far too small. Eager to make a sale she said they might stretch after a week or two's wear. I said < No, son muy pequeños>, then I was going to say that besides I wasn't wearing socks, but I forgot the word.

After a few seconds it came to me (or so I thought), so I added <además no llevo calzonillos>, she supressed a smile, then went behind the curtain to ask her mother for another size (she said) and I heard them both laughing.

When I left it occurred to me that I'd made a mistake, but it wasn't until I referred to my dictionary that I realized that calzonillos were underpants, and the word I should have said was calcetines!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudgazer View Post
That's priceless, Sancho!

A much less funny example happened to me when I was ordering coffee at a local latino café. The young cashier asked me how I wanted it and I said "para tomar". The cashier hesitated and looked at me like I'd offended her. I didn't know what I'd done, so I stood there puzzled. Luckily, we were both rescued by the smiling older barista standing nearby who told me what I wanted to say was "para llevar".
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:42 PM
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When I was learning Italian, somebody sent me this video where the second-language speaker incorrectly uses "scopare" when he should be using "scappare"



Oh cavolo!

Last edited by conejodescarado; March 10, 2011 at 03:45 PM.
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Old March 11, 2011, 03:02 AM
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One day a english girl, with pretty good spanish, was working hard.
At the end, she stated "estoy para echarme un polvo" (meaning: "I'm prepared to do IT"/or "I'm so hot everybody wants to do IT with me") instead of "estoy hecha polvo" (literally "i'm like dust", meaning "i'm done"/"i'm very tired")
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Old March 11, 2011, 02:22 PM
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LOL @ #4 and 5

Reminds me of a former lady colleague who used to love holidaying in Spain but was everlastingly moaning about amorous waiters and barmen pestering her. Then one hot day in Britain she came into the office where I worked and started complaining about the heat and finished by saying "¡Estoy muy, muy caliente!" I laughed 'a carcajadas' then said to her " For goodness sake Mandy, you can't say that, it means "I'm really, really horny".

Her face crimson she fled from the office, then it dawned on me that she'd probably been continually saying that to the waiters and barmen - poor girl!

Last edited by Sancho Panther; March 11, 2011 at 02:31 PM.
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Old March 11, 2011, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancho Panther View Post
LOL @ #4 and 5

Reminds me of a former lady colleague who used to love holidaying in Spain but was everlastingly moaning about amorous waiters and barmen pestering her. Then one hot day in Britain she came into the office where I worked and started complaining about the heat and finished by saying "¡Estoy muy, muy caliente!" I laughed 'a carcajadas' then said to her " For goodness sake Mandy, you can't say that, it means "I'm really, really horny".

Her face crimson she fled from the office, then it dawned on me that she'd probably been continually saying that to the waiters and barmen - poor girl!
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Old March 11, 2011, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancho Panther View Post
LOL @ #4 and 5

Reminds me of a former lady colleague who used to love holidaying in Spain but was everlastingly moaning about amorous waiters and barmen pestering her. Then one hot day in Britain she came into the office where I worked and started complaining about the heat and finished by saying "¡Estoy muy, muy caliente!" I laughed 'a carcajadas' then said to her " For goodness sake Mandy, you can't say that, it means "I'm really, really horny".

Her face crimson she fled from the office, then it dawned on me that she'd probably been continually saying that to the waiters and barmen - poor girl!
So when the temperature is 100 deg. Farenheit and you're sweating like crazy, what are you supposed to say that would not be embarrassing in Spain or other Spanish speaking countries?
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Old March 11, 2011, 07:22 PM
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Tengo mucho calor. = I'm very hot.
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Old March 12, 2011, 08:16 AM
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Tengo mucho calor. = I'm very hot.
Thanks, Rusty.

It is sort of funny to me that "calor" translates as "heat" in English and if "heat" instead of "hot" is used to express how one feels about the weather in English, it could be interpreted in the same way as what Sancho had said.
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