funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

This forum has been closed. Please refer to the first post to find useful links.
h2olilly
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:41 am

funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby h2olilly » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:17 pm

Lots of us on here are trying to learn spanish. I can't be the only one who has said funny or embarrassing stuff when trying to ask for something in spanish. I thought it would be amusing to share some of our stories here.
I will start. I have many but here are a couple of highlights.

1. I wanted some eye drops. I went to a pharmacy, and realised I didn't know the word for eye drops when I got there, so I thought I would decribe what I wanted. so I said "Tengo ojos secos, quiere gotears lubricante"... he clearly only heard the word lubricante as I was presented witha vaginal lubricant.

2. On a 2nd date with a guy, a little after our first kiss, I tried to say that it was too hot in the room. What I actually said was "estoy caliente", yep its always good to let your date know you are feeling horny! I new exactly what I had said as soon as soon as I said it from the expression on his face :oops:

Came on - share your stories.


renodante
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1228
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:44 pm
Location: miraflores

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby renodante » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:03 pm

i used to always mix up "triste" and "sed" don't ask me why, "triste" sounds a little like "thirsty" i guess.

can't think of many now but to this day, when someone speaks to fast i unconsciously tilt my head to the side while straining to listen like a dog that's confused by a sound
mateo
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:24 pm

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby mateo » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:54 pm

i have called cancha (the corn snack) concha.

concha is slang for vagina.

so its always nice to tell your mother-in-law that you like her concha.

good god.
renodante
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1228
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:44 pm
Location: miraflores

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby renodante » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:47 pm

if you attempted to joke "but your daughter's is better" it would have been the most epic of epic language mistakes.
User avatar
Kelly
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3871
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:28 pm
Location: Lima, Peru
Contact:

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby Kelly » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:10 pm

We're rolling here... that's hilarious :lol:

Mine are all pretty lame (tame!) after that - digerir with diregir , Puno with puño, rama and rana. - But we get the reverse too, my husband has a hard time keeping "kitchen" and "chicken" straight, but my favorite is "peanuts" and "penis".
User avatar
sbaustin
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 2057
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:46 pm
Location: Peru
Contact:

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby sbaustin » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:13 pm

I was in a book store shopping for a book on sewing for a present for someone and asked the girl that works there where are the books on "coger" (all in spanish).. She started to giggle and I immediately caught my mistake and said, "no no no no, coser, coser!"... haha you have to just laugh at yourself.
User avatar
americorps
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 3841
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:16 pm
Location: Lima

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby americorps » Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:08 am

When I was younger and met my family in Mexico for the first time, I had a couple of doozies.

The day I arrived, my flight was delayed 3 times and I was traveling for about 30 hours before I finally got to Villahermosa. The family waited all night at the airport, including the Mariachi band they hired to greet me. When I arrived at 5 am, i saw them all sleeping on the chairs, floor, everywhere, about 20 people in total. There was nothing I wanted more than to shower and go to bed, but NOOOOOOOOOO.

I had to dance with everyone to the yawning Mariachis. Then they took me to breakfast, then to the plaza de armas, then to the beach for lunch, then to the zoo, then to the river-walk, then to downtown, then to the .... I was so tired, smelly and my feet were killing me and I just could not go another step.

I was trying to think of the word feet because I wanted to say I needed to rest because my feet were killing me, but I could not for the life of me remember the word pie. I remembered that it started with a P, and at that moment a bicycle went past. I thought Ahhh, where do you put your feet on a bicycle? The pedals, of course. so with a gusto in my voice, and a tear in my eye I blurted out.

Tengo que ir ala casa porque duele muchos mis peditos.

For those who do not know what that means, I said, I have to go home because my flatulence hurt a lot.

I had no idea what I said at the time, but it did not take long to realize I said it wrong because for about 15 seconds there was this look of utter shock and confusion followed by the most insane belly laughs I have ever heard. That was 1983. I recently spoke with one of my cousins, and after 30 years, still the first thing out of her mouth is..Kevincito, how are your peditos?
leidulvstad
Silver Member
Silver Member
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:18 pm

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby leidulvstad » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:16 pm

ROLF
Americorps, that was so funny.
User avatar
rama0929
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1572
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:43 am
Contact:

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby rama0929 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:41 pm

Kelly wrote:, rama and rana.


oyeeeeee :evil:

:lol:
User avatar
rama0929
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1572
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:43 am
Contact:

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby rama0929 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:45 pm

mateo wrote:i have called cancha (the corn snack) concha.

concha is slang for vagina.

so its always nice to tell your mother-in-law that you like her concha.

good god.


:lol:

Concha is also a nickname for Consuelo. Needless to say, I've had a lot of juvenile fun with that, and when ordering concha negra cebiche :lol:
User avatar
rama0929
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1572
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:43 am
Contact:

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby rama0929 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:46 pm

leidulvstad wrote:ROLF
Americorps, that was so funny.


Agreed, that was hilarious :lol:
User avatar
Kelly
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3871
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:28 pm
Location: Lima, Peru
Contact:

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby Kelly » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:27 pm

rama0929 wrote:
Kelly wrote:, rama and rana.


oyeeeeee :evil:

:lol:


As long as you don't ribbit, we should be cool. :D
User avatar
curlyguy18
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1208
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:22 pm
Location: Lima
Contact:

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby curlyguy18 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:29 pm

Rama, the short name for Concepción is concho, with an o at the end!!!!!! :) The common meaning of concha is seashell and somehow, over time, it also became the slang word for vagina.

I have made lots of mistakes learning English and I still do every now and then. A few of them are:

1) The dog leaked me. (The dog licked me)
2) Not sure what the pecker order is. (pecking order)
3) I got deeps on the shower (dibs)
4) Southeast Germans are Barbarians (Bavarians)
Roger in the US
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:58 pm

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby Roger in the US » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:28 pm

I found that certain words in English can be misunderstood in Spanish. I was talking to a girl that I know in Chaclacayo about a week ago on the phone.

She asked me what I had for lunch. I said "fish".

I then asked her "Do you like salmon? and she got very quite on the phone.

That night on skype. We were talking and I could tell that something was bothering her.

She said that she was bothered by my question earlier that day. She wanted to know why I asked her if she liked salmon...

Well after going back and forth, I figured out the English pronunciation of "salmon" sounds like the Spanish pronunciation of "semen". When she figured out that she had misunderstood what I asked, she laughed for about for what seemed like forever and still laughs about it when the topic is brought up.
User avatar
tomsax
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1394
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:28 pm

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby tomsax » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:43 pm

I remember when I first came to Peru I had only learnt Spanish in Spain before. I was at a restaurant in Agua Calientes and asked for "los servicios". Tne waiter asked me to wait and then went to the kitchen. I assumed he was getting a key or something. Nothing happened so I called him over again. "Por favor, necesito servicios". He kept gesturing to wait a little bit and I couldn´t understand why. This went on an on with me finally almost shouting "por favor, los servicios, donde estan los servicios?". I was getting pretty desparate by this point. I finally barged past the alarmed waiters and found my way to the kitchen and then to a humble shed at the back with "Baño" written on it. As I was relieving myself I finally realised what had been happening.
Tom
User avatar
Omikron
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:13 pm
Location: Lima (I'm a local)

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby Omikron » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:56 am

tomsax wrote:I remember when I first came to Peru I had only learnt Spanish in Spain before. I was at a restaurant in Agua Calientes and asked for "los servicios". Tne waiter asked me to wait and then went to the kitchen. I assumed he was getting a key or something. Nothing happened so I called him over again. "Por favor, necesito servicios". He kept gesturing to wait a little bit and I couldn´t understand why. This went on an on with me finally almost shouting "por favor, los servicios, donde estan los servicios?". I was getting pretty desparate by this point. I finally barged past the alarmed waiters and found my way to the kitchen and then to a humble shed at the back with "Baño" written on it. As I was relieving myself I finally realised what had been happening.


Hrm?...so what did you realize happened? I'm peruvian and when I go to a restaurant, at least the fancy ones, I ask for "¿donde esta el servicio?" because asking for "el baño" although it is perfectly acceptable, it sounds too "obvious" if you know what I mean, so I do not know what could have actually happened in Aguas Calientes. Asking for "servicio" (not "los servicios") would also mean "I need a waiter to take my order" but that way is not used here.
renodante
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1228
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:44 pm
Location: miraflores

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby renodante » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:26 am

curlyguy18 wrote:Rama, the short name for Concepción is concho, with an o at the end!!!!!! :) The common meaning of concha is seashell and somehow, over time, it also became the slang word for vagina.

I have made lots of mistakes learning English and I still do every now and then. A few of them are:

1) The dog leaked me. (The dog licked me)
2) Not sure what the pecker order is. (pecking order)
3) I got deeps on the shower (dibs)
4) Southeast Germans are Barbarians (Bavarians)


one of my ex girlfriends from here made the cutest mistakes ever:

1. "you're taking me for grounded!" (taking me for granted)
2. "i'm piece!" (i'm pissed)
3. "my ankle is swaloon" (swollen)
4. mixing up "fun" and "funny" all the time
5. "it cost 20 box" (20 bucks)
6. "he's acting like a stupid"
7. "stupid ignorants" (addressing a group)
User avatar
tomsax
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1394
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:28 pm

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby tomsax » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:01 am

Omikron wrote:
tomsax wrote:I remember when I first came to Peru I had only learnt Spanish in Spain before. I was at a restaurant in Agua Calientes and asked for "los servicios". Tne waiter asked me to wait and then went to the kitchen. I assumed he was getting a key or something. Nothing happened so I called him over again. "Por favor, necesito servicios". He kept gesturing to wait a little bit and I couldn´t understand why. This went on an on with me finally almost shouting "por favor, los servicios, donde estan los servicios?". I was getting pretty desparate by this point. I finally barged past the alarmed waiters and found my way to the kitchen and then to a humble shed at the back with "Baño" written on it. As I was relieving myself I finally realised what had been happening.


Hrm?...so what did you realize happened? I'm peruvian and when I go to a restaurant, at least the fancy ones, I ask for "¿donde esta el servicio?" because asking for "el baño" although it is perfectly acceptable, it sounds too "obvious" if you know what I mean, so I do not know what could have actually happened in Aguas Calientes. Asking for "servicio" (not "los servicios") would also mean "I need a waiter to take my order" but that way is not used here.


well no it wasn't a fancy restaurant and perhaps I should have explain I was waiting for my meal. As you will know most Peruvians in the sierra speak a different spanish to those in fancy restaurants. Anyway I think you got it.
Tom
User avatar
sbaustin
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 2057
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:46 pm
Location: Peru
Contact:

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby sbaustin » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:40 am

renodante wrote:
one of my ex girlfriends from here made the cutest mistakes ever:

1. "you're taking me for grounded!" (taking me for granted)
2. "i'm piece!" (i'm pissed)
3. "my ankle is swaloon" (swollen)
4. mixing up "fun" and "funny" all the time
5. "it cost 20 box" (20 bucks)
6. "he's acting like a stupid"
7. "stupid ignorants" (addressing a group)


I have a list of these too but my favorite by far is: "I have a head cake!"
Lloyd007
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:24 am

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby Lloyd007 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:59 am

I once asked the guy at the fish stand in Wongs to give me a trout and please could you ''cortar su cabello'' (give it a hair cut, too). What i meant of course, was to ''cortar su cabeza'' (cut the head off). ooops. :lol:
User avatar
windsportinperu
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1561
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 3:11 pm

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby windsportinperu » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:00 am

renodante wrote: 6. "he's acting like a stupid"


I did almost the same mistake when a guy came here to this expatforum, trying to search for some help.

I said to him ""The way you acted as a "caballero" with that lady"" , my intention was to say ""you were a gentleman""..

After his answer, I noticed his reply was as I would have said "you pretended to be a gentleman" .

After further investigation at the dictionary, I finally realized where was my mistake :oops:

http://www.expatperu.com/expatforums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=18137&start=90
renodante
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1228
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:44 pm
Location: miraflores

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby renodante » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:49 pm

After further investigation at the dictionary, I finally realized where was my mistake


haha. at least you can be understood though. half the time when i speak spanish it's like Spanish Tarzan on crack.
User avatar
inscop
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 216
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:06 am
Location: Alpine, CA up the hill a bit, east of San Diego

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby inscop » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:20 pm

Tomar means to drink and it also make to take, as in to take a pill. My lovely wife, even though she has been a US citizen since age 8 almost always asks me, "Did you drink your pills?"

For the real Spanish noobs out there, I almost hesitate to mention this one as it is SO much fun when you hear some one screw it up. "Estoy muy embarazado." We all know that embarazada means to be PG, but it sounds so natural to to a Spanish speaking newbie.
renodante
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1228
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:44 pm
Location: miraflores

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby renodante » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:32 pm

Estoy muy embarazado


i often catch myself right before i make that mistake

the "fun" and "funny" mixup happens all the time with spanish speakers. "did you have a good time dancing last night?" "yes, i had much funny."
User avatar
Kelly
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3871
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:28 pm
Location: Lima, Peru
Contact:

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby Kelly » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:53 pm

I make weird mistakes when I switch back to speaking English - I've been known to say "would you please up the volume?"
BobLowry
Silver Member
Silver Member
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:44 am

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby BobLowry » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:57 pm

A couple of months after coming to Lima I decided to take a Spanish class at my new Peruvian wife's urging. After a week or so the spanish teacher told us that fingers and toes are the same word - dedos. I politely infomed our class and the teacher that she was wrong and that toes are olluquitos. I guess newly weds in Peru use olluquitos to mean toes.

Also after being here a few weeks I saw a sign by the road in a nice neighborhod saying No Camiones and I asked my wifew why they did not want shrimp on the road. Camiones = truck, camarones = shrimp.
leidulvstad
Silver Member
Silver Member
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:18 pm

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby leidulvstad » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:41 pm

Olluquitos or Ollucos: One of the many types of edible tubers that grow on the peruvian Andes.

And, yes, some of them are indeed more or less shaped like a misshapen toe :-)
Meerut88
Member
Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:54 pm

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby Meerut88 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:58 pm

OK, here it goes....the first time I was allowed to stay at my fiancés residence while visiting her I was welcomed with a big breakfast in the morning prepared by my future mother-in-law. Not being accustomed to eating a large breakfast I was eating very little of the food. My future mother-in-law asked if something was wrong with the food. My first mistake was remembering that in Spanish, you "have hunger", not "you are hungry"....So during the first big breakfast with my soon to be new family, I proudly announce that in the morning "Yo no estoy hombre!" I was immediately met with complete silence while her parents and brother stared at me and my fiancé. Thankfully, my fiancé, being the only bi-lingual person in the room, did some quick, uncomfortable translations and the breakfast table broke out into cheerful laughter.

I now know the difference between hombre & hambre.
h2olilly
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:41 am

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby h2olilly » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:19 pm

jaja some funny stories :lol:

Also, In an internet cafe I once asked "where is the arruga?" I meant arroba. Fortunately she did not answer on your face.

Arruga = wrinkle
Arroba = @
falconagain
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 843
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby falconagain » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:06 pm

Before learning any English, I used to listen to Ray Paker Junior singing Ghostbusters.
And according to me at that time what he was really saying was Choches, Choches.
User avatar
windsportinperu
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1561
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 3:11 pm

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby windsportinperu » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:11 pm

I had a guest from Europe a long time ago.

She couldn't pronounce the word "perro" (dog) and always use to say "pero" (but).

It was very frustrating for her trying to pronounce "perro" and never did it
amorylove
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:13 pm

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby amorylove » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:07 am

Meerut88 wrote:I now know the difference between hombre & hambre.


haha its funny you mention this...when I was first learning Spanish in Argentina, I was staying with a hostfamily that didn't speak any English..I used to ALWAYS mix up "hombre" and "Hambre" and when I was hungry I'd say "tengo hombre" and it took awhile for my host parents to realize that I meant I was hungry and not that I had a man...

I used to always mix up caballo, cebolla, and cabello...and I always said "musculosos" instead of "musculos" (I think I still screw that up on occasion...)

as for switching back to English...I always have trouble remembering that "pronunciate" is not a word...not sure why but this one is always something that slips by me while all my american friends wonder why my English is worse now that I know Spanish...oye.
User avatar
panc.jefe
Silver Member
Silver Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: funny / embarrassing language learning mistakes.

Postby panc.jefe » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:41 pm

A couple of good ones from my earlier years in Peru. I am an archaeologist and my best bloopers seem to come in very public settings.

When I first arrived I was invited to talk to a news conferences about the archaeology in the area. The town mayor was there, various press, and an audience of local VIPs. As I spoke in my somewhat broken Spanish I mentioned several times how excited I was about starting work locally. After about the third or fourth time of declaring that I was "exitado" a very sweet elderly woman in the front row bent forward and whispered: "Quiere decir entusiasmado (enthusiastic), no exitado (sexually aroused)." I blushed, chuckled and declared how enthusiastic I was - to the immense relief of the entire audience.

Several years later after work had begun, I was giving a lecture about our recent excavations, when someone asked if we had found anything interesting lately. I explained that we really didn't find "treasures", but that we had found a very interesting comb (peine) and indicated with my fingers that it was about 5 cm long. Of course what I actually said was that we had found a very interesting penis (pene) that was about 5 cm long. About 100 people were in stitches.

Return to “Expat Information”

Login  •  Register