Embarassing moments in language learning

This is our main forum. Here, anything related to languages and linguistics can be discussed.

Moderators: Global Moderators, Forum Administrators

User avatar
Cesare M.
Posts: 2217
Joined: 2010-12-23, 22:06
Gender: male
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby Cesare M. » 2016-03-09, 4:37

I know I have encountered quite a few embarrassing moments in language learning, I just cannot seem to recall them at the moment.

How about you? And what was the most embarrassing moment of all?

User avatar
TheStrayCat
Posts: 2387
Joined: 2010-12-23, 11:49
Real Name: Max
Gender: male
Location: Evanston, IL
Country: US United States (United States)
Contact:

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby TheStrayCat » 2016-03-09, 5:32

From what I can remember, four years ago in a Spanish class I accidentally said "guarras" (pigs) instead of "guerras" (wars). Besides that, I cannot remember anything specific, but I'm sure that I've said enough funny things in English during the year and a half of living in the US.
Native:  (uk)
C1:  (en-US)
B2:  (es)
A1:  (fr) (hr)

User avatar
Vlürch
Posts: 403
Joined: 2014-05-06, 8:42
Gender: male
Location: Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby Vlürch » 2016-03-09, 10:33

I don't really interact with people except online, especially not people who I'd have to speak something other than Finnish with, so I haven't really had the chance to embarrass myself that much. Still, when I was learning English, when I was like 12-15, I made tons of mistakes and actually made a massive fool of myself online to the point where I managed to piss quite a few people off... although a lot of those people were metalheads who hated the fact that I was getting attention for my shitty non-metal music on Myspace from metalheads even though what I did wasn't metal and I called it metal. :lol: Overall, though, my English was so bad that I regularly misunderstood everything while assuming that I understood correctly but everyone else had made mistakes, and consequently got into arguments in every possible corner of the internet when I couldn't admit that my English was anything short of perfect or that I was wrong even if I knew I was wrong... about anything. :lol:

Another thing that embarrasses me for some reason is that I can pronounce the "French R" fairly well (even if I tend to trill it accidentally), so whenever there's some French name or French word or whatever somewhere and I'll have to say it to my mum or dad or whatever, I instead say it as the "Finnish R" because I don't want to sound like some kind of a posh nerd...

ShounenRonin

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby ShounenRonin » 2016-05-29, 23:58

I had a few.

In high school Spanish, I did not know how to say bug, so I said "El buggo." Another incident was in college Spanish where the professor called on me to read a sentence. It was something like "¿Tienes hablar con sus padres?" I said, "Sí, tengo bailar con sus padres." I was half asleep!

Also, I went to school with an Eastern European girl. One day, she brought har laptop and the keys were in Cyrillic. I asked her if it was Cyrillic, but I said Cryllic. She corrected me.

User avatar
Antea
Posts: 1424
Joined: 2015-08-23, 10:53
Real Name: c
Gender: female

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby Antea » 2016-05-30, 5:59

In class of Hindi we had to make some sentences with the new vocabulay. So I wanted to say "The bird is on the tree = पेड़". But instead of that, I pronounced badly the last letter and said "पेट", which means "on the belly". For me these two last letters sound quite the same, and are difficult to differentiate. But my teacher did, because she started to laugh :oops: :roll:

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 4083
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: QLD
Country: AU Australia (Australia)

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby Saim » 2016-05-30, 9:01

Antea wrote:In class of Hindi


I el hindi on l'estudies?

User avatar
Antea
Posts: 1424
Joined: 2015-08-23, 10:53
Real Name: c
Gender: female

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby Antea » 2016-05-30, 14:19

Saim wrote:
Antea wrote:In class of Hindi


I el hindi on l'estudies?


Amb profe particular (amb una companya que té el mateix nivell que jo, i que pot venir al mateix horari)

lyle1996
Posts: 2
Joined: 2016-08-23, 16:26
Gender: male

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby lyle1996 » 2016-08-23, 20:40

There's this classic mistake that most French learners have made:

Il a des cheveux secs - He has dry hair

Il a des chevaux secs - He has dry horses!

User avatar
france-eesti
Posts: 1346
Joined: 2016-01-02, 19:41
Gender: female
Location: France
Country: FR France (France)

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby france-eesti » 2016-09-12, 8:18

I almost lost 2 conversation partners because in my Learning process. :roll:

1/ the Brazilian
I had found a nice 60 year old Brazilian man who worked in publishing (in São Paulo I think) and writing to him was very interesting (for my Portuguese of course but also because he knew the world of publishing and had gently explained to me why my novels would never be published) but unfortunately I did the copy/paste mistake.
I had prepared my next letter for him in Textpad but had also written a message for my Russian female working Partner (and as our jobs consist in woman health, we sometimes go a little technical there... but say no more :whistle: )
Anyway, instead of just sending him his message, I stupidly selected both messages, copied and pasted everything to him.
As I suppose Brazilians and Russians do not remotely hate each other, I guess he was shocked by the message I had prepared for my working Partner...
He never talked to me again from that day. I burnt with shame for 2 months, said sorry many times but nothing doing.
Then I thought, okay that was an unfortunate mistake but maybe he could have gotten over it after all.

2/ the Hungarian
Almost lost my conversation Partner because of definite/indefinite conjugation.
Hungarian tends to omit lots of things, the "to be" in 3rd person, the subject, and sometimes the pronoun if it is the direct objet. I had forgotten about this. So while I just wanted to say "if you wish, we can chat", I forgot that if I put indefinite with "wish", it means "have desire for someone". So my sentence ended up like meaning "if you have sexual desire for me, we can chat".

I was mortified with shame again :oops: :oops: I said sorry of course but since then chatting has been tense and he keeps skipping lessons.

Maybe it's time I no longer talk to anyone else and go further into autism :|
'fr' (fr) Native - 'en' (en) Fluentish - 'pt' (pt) Fluentish when I was younger, SQL: A2 or something like that - 'hu' (hu) My current addiction - crazy about it!

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 14860
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-09-12, 11:26

I'm pretty sure I've done things similar to both of those things. I'm surprised and sorry to hear that the reaction you got in both cases was so negative; when I did it, it was more like a joke that everybody ignored after a while. Have you tried explaining to each person what happened? Have you tried asking them whether you can still write to or chat with them?

User avatar
Levike
Posts: 6053
Joined: 2013-04-22, 19:26
Real Name: Levi
Gender: male
Location: Kolozsvár
Country: RO Romania (România)

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby Levike » 2016-09-12, 11:57

france-eesti wrote: So my sentence ended up like meaning "if you have sexual desire for me, we can chat".

Még emlékszem, hogy elmesélted. Vicces, ha tőlem kérded. :ohwell:

I remember you mentioning that one. Funny, if you ask me. :ohwell:
Nem egy nap alatt épült Buda vára.

User avatar
france-eesti
Posts: 1346
Joined: 2016-01-02, 19:41
Gender: female
Location: France
Country: FR France (France)

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby france-eesti » 2016-09-12, 13:29

vijayjohn wrote:I'm pretty sure I've done things similar to both of those things. I'm surprised and sorry to hear that the reaction you got in both cases was so negative; when I did it, it was more like a joke that everybody ignored after a while. Have you tried explaining to each person what happened? Have you tried asking them whether you can still write to or chat with them?


The Brazilian one is really lost - I'll never hear from him again.
The Hungarian one will get over it :) As Levike said, I think it is funnier than weird.
And he understood I forgot about omitting the direct object when it's a pronoun. Just we didn't talk to each other for 1 month after that and I was terribly anxious and ashamed about this :mrgreen:
'fr' (fr) Native - 'en' (en) Fluentish - 'pt' (pt) Fluentish when I was younger, SQL: A2 or something like that - 'hu' (hu) My current addiction - crazy about it!

User avatar
Osias
Posts: 5730
Joined: 2007-09-09, 17:38
Real Name: Osias Junior
Gender: male
Location: Vitória
Country: BR Brazil (Brasil)
Contact:

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby Osias » 2016-09-12, 19:29

france-eesti wrote:The Brazilian one is really lost - I'll never hear from him again.

Because of paragraph in Russian? :hmm:

You should check if he is not dead or something. It happens.
 (es)  (fr)  (ca)  (sv)  (en-us) (pt-BR) e  (de)

User avatar
france-eesti
Posts: 1346
Joined: 2016-01-02, 19:41
Gender: female
Location: France
Country: FR France (France)

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby france-eesti » 2016-09-12, 20:08

Acho que sim... Sei lá, talvez algo que disse lhe choquou. A minha colega e eu vamos... na técnica.
I think, yes indeed. I dunno, maybe something I said shocked him. My friend and I go technical sometimes :lol:
'fr' (fr) Native - 'en' (en) Fluentish - 'pt' (pt) Fluentish when I was younger, SQL: A2 or something like that - 'hu' (hu) My current addiction - crazy about it!

User avatar
Osias
Posts: 5730
Joined: 2007-09-09, 17:38
Real Name: Osias Junior
Gender: male
Location: Vitória
Country: BR Brazil (Brasil)
Contact:

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby Osias » 2016-09-12, 20:42

france-eesti wrote:Acho que sim... Sei lá, talvez algo que disse lhe chocou. A minha colega e eu ficamos técnicas demais às vezes.
I think, yes indeed. I dunno, maybe something I said shocked him. My friend and I go technical sometimes :lol:

Ainda não acredito, ele teria que rodar o google tradutor e ter mandado ao menos alguma resposta expressando choque. Já tentou achar o nome dele no face?
 (es)  (fr)  (ca)  (sv)  (en-us) (pt-BR) e  (de)

User avatar
france-eesti
Posts: 1346
Joined: 2016-01-02, 19:41
Gender: female
Location: France
Country: FR France (France)

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby france-eesti » 2016-09-12, 21:05

Não, não busquei. Não faz parte de mim perseguir alguém quem não quer falar comigo. Agora não faz mal! Sempre posso falar português aquí :)
'fr' (fr) Native - 'en' (en) Fluentish - 'pt' (pt) Fluentish when I was younger, SQL: A2 or something like that - 'hu' (hu) My current addiction - crazy about it!

User avatar
Osias
Posts: 5730
Joined: 2007-09-09, 17:38
Real Name: Osias Junior
Gender: male
Location: Vitória
Country: BR Brazil (Brasil)
Contact:

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby Osias » 2016-09-12, 22:19

france-eesti wrote:Não, não busquei. Não faz parte de mim perseguir alguém quem não quer falar comigo. Agora não faz mal! Sempre posso falar português aqui :)

Recomendo também praticar no Tuíter e no Fêice, onde os brasileiros mais falam.
 (es)  (fr)  (ca)  (sv)  (en-us) (pt-BR) e  (de)

User avatar
france-eesti
Posts: 1346
Joined: 2016-01-02, 19:41
Gender: female
Location: France
Country: FR France (France)

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby france-eesti » 2016-11-21, 21:28

Omg just did it again... Wow I am mortified!
Just asked my Hungarian teacher if he wanted to "franciázni".

I was sure it meant "to practice French" (because "magyarozni" means to practice Hungarian, "angolázni" means to practice English) but then he tells me there are two meanings to "Franciázni", but doesn't say more.

Then he says good bye politely and kindly as the lesson is over. So I go to google the said-word...
...
...
...
...
and it turns out it means "to have oral sex"

omg... Am I ever going to be that much of a dick again???!!! wow!!!

PS: don't they say that in Spanish also? "un francès" or something like that?
Hey what's up with thinking French are the kings of oral sex? :lol: :lol:
'fr' (fr) Native - 'en' (en) Fluentish - 'pt' (pt) Fluentish when I was younger, SQL: A2 or something like that - 'hu' (hu) My current addiction - crazy about it!

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 19316
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby linguoboy » 2016-11-21, 21:51

france-eesti wrote:PS: don't they say that in Spanish also? "un francès" or something like that?
Hey what's up with thinking French are the kings of oral sex? :lol: :lol:

In English, as well. That is, "frenching" means "french kissing", but "Do you do French?" is older slang for "Do you do oral sex?" Thirty years ago when I first started reading gay personal ads, men would list themselves as, e.g. "French a/p, Greek passive" (i.e. "perform/receive oral sex, receive anal sex").

As for how this came about, you can blame the Parisians. (BTW, Pariser is German slang for "condom".)
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 14860
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Embarassing moments in language learning

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-11-22, 0:54

There's a dirty American (Vlax) Romani joke I have right here whose title means "The Virgin." My advisor refused to translate it, but I think I figured it out anyway - something like this:
After the wedding, the man and his new wife were in their room. When the time came for them to get into bed, it seemed to the man that his beloved was shy. The bride undressed herself and suddenly hid under the sheets.
"Go gentle with me, honey," she said. "You know I'm a virgin."
"A virgin?" the man asked. "I thought you'd already been married twice before you met me!"
"True, honey," she replied. "There were two men before me, if I'm not lying, but the first was French, and the second, Greek."


Return to “General Language Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest