They say that if you don't learn a language before you're 25 you'll never be bilingual, no matter how much you speak the second language.
How true. Speaking another language can be a minefield of different meanings (or false friends) that can lead, in most cases, to hilarity (at your expense).
- Vou fazer marmelada. Nope, that's not 'I'm going to make marmalade'. That's 'I'm going to do some heavy-petting' (foreplay);
- Do not ask the grocery store man if he tem tomates? Because you're asking him if he has b**ls. Tem tomate? (singular) is much better if you're really want to know if he has any tomatoes (for sale).
- Do not say this in a supermarket in a loud voice: Não gosto desta compote tem muitos preservativos dentro. The intention is to say that you don't like that jam because it contains too many preservatives. Except preservativo in Portuguese means a condom - or rubber to my American friends.
- You can tell your dinner guests that you made the meal in your kitchen (cozinha), but if you change the sex of the word to cozinho, then you tell them you made the meal in your as*h*le.
Take great care...