• International Insurance Blog

  • Monday, December 18, 2017

  • Collection of Mishaps in foreign languages

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    Author: Blog Contributor

Here is a collection of mishaps when trying a foreign tongue:

- My first mistake occurred after I had been in Japan for approximately two and a half hours. Walking into a convenience store I was astounded that the people working there kept yelling at me, ‘IRASHIMASE, IRASHIMASE’. So I waved back and yelled in my loudest voice - ‘IRASHIMASE!’ To which the shop assistants looked completely baffled. I later found out that it means something like ‘Welcome’ and is not usually yelled out by the customer.

- The mistake I made was when I was preparing to go to school over here in California. I went to a local convenience store and asked, quite innocently, for one rubber. There was an awkward silence, so I asked for one again, smiling cheerfully. The red-faced expression that washed over the face of the old lady behind the counter was priceless, and a little unsettling. She accused me of being rude- and asked me to leave the shop. I was confused at her reaction, yet complied. It was later on that day, when I told my father of what had happened that I realized my error. For you see back in England what Americans call erasers, we call rubbers.

- I became a victim of simple tongue twisting. In order to say “killed,” in Spanish, one needs to say, “mato.” What came out of my mouth instead was “mamo.” So what I said to a 70-something-year-old grandpa-like gentleman was: “When your son sucked the bull…”

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