Conversational slip-ups!

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by betty swollocks, 16 Aug 2007.

  1. betty swollocks

    betty swollocks large member

    One of my colleagues is an utterly delightful woman from Zimbabwe. While Shona is her first language, her English is pretty much fluent, but she does occasionally stumble over words and phrases with highly amusing and embarrassing (for her) results.

    Last year while I was heating a spicy mexican beanburger in the microwave, she, wanting to know how much longer I'd be, asked
    "How long is your thingy?"
    My response:
    "Accompany me into the next room and we'll see."
    Much to my and bystanders' merriment, she ran off. Black people can go red.

    Yesterday, she was commenting on my appearance (unkempt hair but new shirt), and said
    "You need a haircut, but very nice down below."
    Onlookers started sniggering. She, realising the enormity of her comment, shrieked and ran off.
    She's not going to hear the last of that one!
  2. Melvil

    Melvil Standard nerd


    That's what makes languages fun, the possibility for unintentional hilarity...

    When I was on holiday in Paris a few years ago I upset a waitress at a restaurant by asking, in french, for Cider.

    Unfortunately I didn't say the word right and instead of saying 'Cidre', I said 'SIDA' so in effect I asked her if she had AIDS...(!)
  3. Mr Phoebus

    Mr Phoebus New Member

    ;) Innocent humour is great.
  4. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    a friend and former colleague of mine had informed me that she was going into town at lunchtime to find an outfit to wear to my forthcoming wedding.

    after lunch, she walked up to my desk and said (quite loudly, slight devon accent) "i'm going to have to come in my knickers!"

    apparently what she meant was that she couldn't find anything suitable to wear, but i was too gobsmacked to even say oo-er ;)
  5. Mr Phoebus

    Mr Phoebus New Member

    She could then eBay them. :ohmy:
  6. Just yesterday - we are currently evaluating the options for a new company website (not my day job). We found a few options, and I asked one of our more technically minded colleagues, who happens to be German, to evaluate them, which he did. I replied to him 'Thanks, that information is invaluable - I don't understand any of this technical stuff'.

    ...To which he apologised profusely and sent an email in very very plain English explaining what the options were.

    Evidently he'd interpreted my statment 'that information is invaluable' to mean that I thought he was talking crap. I realised straight away and explained what 'invaluable' means when we use it, and explained I wasn't having a go.

    Sad thing is, he's more comprehensible writing in his second language than I am in my first, it seems!
  7. Ghost Donkey

    Ghost Donkey Guest

    A very angry Greek woman I know was tellig me she was about to ring an employment agency and tell them she wasn't interesting. Being a kind soul I pointed out the mistake before she rang. I once confuded the Greek words for wife and cow. Now I always have to think twice before I say wife as the word for cow has stuck.
  8. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Behind a desk
    Chap I know went into a butcher in Spain and asked "Tienes coño?" What he meant to ask was "Tienes coñejo?"
  9. Melvil

    Melvil Standard nerd

    Ah, but if the butcher was also a pimp he would be in gravy! :ohmy:
  10. radger

    radger Über Member

    Earlier in the week, a Russian woman on the phone complained to me that she didn't have a sword to cut up the fallen tree trunk in her back garden. I had to end the call rapidly after that, as I was struggling not to laugh.
  11. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    LOL, BS!!! Next time she asks how are you, answer "ndiri sharp", meaning I'm sharp, or rather I'm great thanks.
  12. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    Mrs. P, shortly after arriving in the UK from France, would make attempts to use English idioms, which she could never quite remember.

    I particularly liked: "it's raining dogs and cows". I still use it myself in fact.
  13. A friend of mine is a teacher, and once took some of 'her' kids camping in Wales on a fieldtrip. One hot and sultry night, she announced to everyone that she was going to sleep with her flaps open as it was such a hot night.:ohmy:
  14. monnet

    monnet Über Member

    I once went to visit a Polish girl who was ill. What she meant to say was take your coat off, what she actually said was 'come in, take your clothes off.'
  15. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    My mate who lives in Spain, and can't speak the lingo very well, got confused with two very similar-sounding Spanish words, and when asked how old he was said (translated as I don't speak Spanish either) 'I have 40 anuses'! :ohmy:
    What an are$ehole! :ohmy:
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