How did you goof?

4
votes

Please make us smile or laugh by narrating one of the goofs you made while using a foreign language.

Here is mine. Once upon a time, I was in school…yeah it's that far back LOL. We had to translate a text from English to French (it was French school, where I am from.) so I worked really hard at translating "The three beards." I had the same feeling as many of you while trying to fit the the story to the words, "what did they mean?", sometimes it made no sense at all. So I probably twisted the story quite a bit to make it fit and proudly turned in a paper I thought deserved a B if not an A. To my big surprised I got a zero, cero, nada, zip. The three bearded men living in a cabin in the original story had become three bears in mine.

Paying attention would have saved me from this humiliation. As my old accounting teacher would write on the board before every test…RTDQ Read The Damn Question.

What's your story?

2247 views
updated MAY 26, 2010
posted by sfrenchie

12 Answers

9
votes

Once, when I was so young that T V ,internet, mobile phones and I pods were in the realms of Science fiction , i found myself in the New Guinea highlands talking with a group of indigenous people and i asked one young lady if she was of the local tribe , she screamed, and her father came rushing at me with murder in his eyes, the district officer in charge had heard all this and after laughing like a drain , explained to the now angry tribes people that what I meant to ask was ,'is she belonging to her fathers people" but what i said was ' does she belong to all the people" quite a difference in any language. I had to pay a hefty fine to assuage the wronged party. rolleyes

updated MAY 21, 2010
posted by ray76
Funnny! And I've never heard the expression "laughing like a drain." Do drains laugh?
Aussie expression I suppose
Drains go ,gurgle gurgle gurgle , just like a laugh, it is from Oz.
A stifled laugh!
This is one of the funniest language mix-up stories I've ever heard! Well told!
5
votes

After admiring the beautiful balsa birds carved and painted by a craftsman along the Napo river in Ecuador I thought i was complimenting him by telling him how very skillful (muy hábil) he was but seeing the unhappy look on his face i finally worked out i was telling him how very weak (muy débil) he was :( Poor guy - in the end when i got the word right he looked much happier smile

updated MAY 21, 2010
posted by Kiwi-Girl
Huh oh :)
3
votes

One time when I was asked to join a library chat group to learn Spanish I told the leader (a native speaker) "Everyone will enjoy me at the party." His face showed so much suprise that I immediately knew I had to repeat myself in English.

I told him what I really wanted to say was that "I'd really enjoy meeting everyone at the party/gathering."

updated MAY 20, 2010
posted by --Mariana--
I'm sure they would have :)
jajajajjajaajajajajajajajaj !! Por el amor de Dios
3
votes

Give me time frenchie and I'm sure there will be many.....

I can imagine I am going to say estoy casada instead of estoy cansada a few times, although maybe sometimes they are the same thing. wink

updated MAY 19, 2010
posted by galsally
Lol, indeed
2
votes

Once at a friend’s house we had dinner then went out on the front porch to digest and smoke. My friend says “gracias a Dios”. Feeling I overstayed my welcome I start questioning him if he wanted us to leave because I heard “gracias adios” Thank you good by”.

Another time at my neighbor’s house I was butchering the simple word for sea by adding an “e” to the word “mar”. They politely corrected my mistake and no they do not like swimming in the “mear”, who would?

And by the way beaches in CR are prostitutes. If you ask in English “Where are the best beaches” you might not get directions to a “playa”

updated MAY 20, 2010
posted by 00a52084
What is CR?
Costa rica?
Is that beaches or ****es ??
2
votes

One day in my spanish class, my pregnant teacher had a headache. A girl in the class said, "Everybody be nice to the teacher, she's in lots of 'pene'".

updated MAY 20, 2010
posted by peasblossom224
Ouch!
Not sure if that is what started the pregnancy, the headache or both lol
1
vote

Come on people, I'm sure you have funny stories...share them please.

updated MAY 26, 2010
posted by sfrenchie
It would seem mon ami that people are very shy when it comes to the faux pas made by themselves.
1
vote

I forgot the funniest and most embarrassing one that happened on this site last Saturday. I wrote a congratulatory note about Jessica Watkins which said= ¡ A la más joven chica a la venta en todo el mundo! which went out for about 6 hours and fortunately Spanish speakers pointed out to me that what I had said was that - "the young girl was for sale around the World " instead of young girl sails around the World , wow was my face red, fortunately the hard working and talented beautiful heidita saw it and put it right for me. So my friends be very careful ,¡ ten cuidado! get a native speaker to check that there are not two words like Sale and Sail, which may get you into trouble . Also I have found that in Spanishamerica they have idioms that may be different than in España, wink

updated MAY 20, 2010
posted by ray76
Geez, I always miss the good shopping opportunities!
1
vote

It is the culture here when you greet or say good bye, men are expected to give a kiss on the cheek of a girl/woman you know or have been introduced to. One time I did not give the kiss to a friend of mine when she came to visit. I was a newbie to CR. From that point on every time I see her or she leaves my company the first thing out of her mouth is “give me my kiss”.

updated MAY 20, 2010
posted by 00a52084
Hey, I like that tradition. In France if I meet a cousin or close acquaintance, male or female, I have to kiss their cheeks 4 times.
1
vote

You are doing a fantatic job thus far, I laughed LOL

updated MAY 19, 2010
posted by sfrenchie
0
votes

This is not spoken but it is a blooper!

I thought I would see if there any free spanish magazines online...

So what did I type into Google?

Revista gratis.

Seemed innocuous enough to me, pobrecita inocente tongue wink

updated MAY 26, 2010
posted by galsally
0
votes

Thanks all, we got quite some funny answers. I came back here to give you my votes so please do the same and vote on the question if you liked it. Thank you

updated MAY 20, 2010
posted by sfrenchie