Funny miscommunication

level
9
Posts158Likes43Joined19/9/2019LocationSão Paulo / BR
Native
Portuguese
Learning English, French, Italian, Spanish

Do you have any personal stories when language put you in a difficult situation? I was once in Spain with a friend and she made the typical mistake regarding Portuguese-Spanish: "Estoy embarazada!". In Portuguese, "estou embaraçada" means "I'm embarrassed", in Spanish it means "I'm pregnant".

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#1
level
4
Posts27Likes17Joined26/12/2019LocationBE
Native
French
Learning Dutch, English

What they call "une baguette" in France - in Belgium we call it "un pain français" (a french bread).

So when I was in France I asked for "un pain français" and got the answer :

Here all our breads are French - sir.


Also I had a hard time to understand things like he actually did it yesterday since "actuellement" means currently.

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#2
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I still make this mistake in German a lot when I am not careful. I say "Ich bin gut" instead of "Mir geht es gut". 


For a native Spanish speaker, the distinction between both phrases is not easily spotted. The second phrase means "I am well/ok.", but instead I end up saying "I am good" which means "I am good in bed". 


I am truly sorry to all the Germans who meet me, that is NOT the way I want to start a conversation. 

Language shapes our view of the world.

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#3
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9
Posts158Likes43Joined19/9/2019LocationSão Paulo / BR
Native
Portuguese
Learning English, French, Italian, Spanish

Michel wrote:
What they call "une baguette" in France - in Belgium we call it "un pain français" (a french bread).
So when I was in France I asked for "un pain français" and got the answer :
Here all our breads are French - sir.
Also I had a hard time to understand things like he actually did it yesterday since "actuellement" means currently.
In Portuguese we have "atualmente" and the same problem with understanding "actually".

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#4
level
9
Posts158Likes43Joined19/9/2019LocationSão Paulo / BR
Native
Portuguese
Learning English, French, Italian, Spanish

ZairaI.Uranga wrote:
I still make this mistake in German a lot when I am not careful. I say "Ich bin gut" instead of "Mir geht es gut".
For a native Spanish speaker, the distinction between both phrases is not easily spotted. The second phrase means "I am well/ok.", but instead I end up saying "I am good" which means "I am good in bed".
I am truly sorry to all the Germans who meet me, that is NOT the way I want to start a conversation.
Jajaja! Then they say we latins are overly sensual!

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#5
level
18
Posts81Likes42Joined26/9/2019LocationKR
Native
Korean

I can't think of anything now, but Koreans usually can't perfectly pronounce "L" or "R". Sometimes, when my Korean friends spell out their names starting with L or R, it is definitely hard to recognize which is which.. :) 

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#6
level
9
Posts158Likes43Joined19/9/2019LocationSão Paulo / BR
Native
Portuguese
Learning English, French, Italian, Spanish

JaeHong.S wrote:
I can't think of anything now, but Koreans usually can't perfectly pronounce "L" or "R". Sometimes, when my Korean friends spell out their names starting with L or R, it is definitely hard to recognize which is which.. :)
True! And it's the same for Japan and China, isn't it? I had a japanese friend who called me "ballerina" because it was hard for her to say "Valéria". I used to love it!

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#7
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