Monday, April 15, 2013

A-Z Blog Challenge - M = Marmalade - be careful, very careful


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).

Examples:


  • 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...



18 comments:

  1. By the way I ordered the book you recommended
    Yeah I’d love to learn Spanish but not sure the brain will allow it.

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  2. Haha, love these. I'm hopeless with languages and way past 25 so I think I'm doomed. I think it would be so cool to be fluent in more than one language though.

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  3. ROTFL those are all awesome. Especially the last one. I think I need to include a messed up translation in a future story or two. Thank you for the inspiration and the chuckle :)

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  4. Those are a riot! Wonder how my wife will respond to vou fazer marmelada?
    I lived in Japan when I was a kid and could speak it fluently, even better than English. Sadly, I don't remember most of it now.

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  5. lol oh boy. Good for a laugh anyway. I've never heard that about learning a language but it make sense. I took Spanish all thru high school and understand more than i can speak, but I wish I knew more.

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  6. :-) Thanks everyone. There are some even worse ones I've made - but I'll be censored.

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  7. These made me crack up.

    I took French from first grade to 6th and switched over to Spanish in 9th grade. But I've made some major gaffes in Spanish while living in California. Like announcing I was pregnant when I meant...well never mind. My service partner choked on her tea and then laughed. She also quickly corrected my Spanish. Yes, chuckles ensued and fortunately, I can laugh at myself, too.

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  8. Thanks for the laughs, Susan. Is vou new? Dropping the s? It's been a long time since French class.

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    1. "Vou" means "I'm going" in Portuguese

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  9. You had me all a-giggle!

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  10. Oh, that is too funny. I had great fun reading this. As a bilingual person, I attest ... I sometimes confuse myself. :)

    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

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  11. yikes! Definitely a minefield if you don't know what you're doing...

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  12. Is that really true? I know a guy who moved to Mexico in his 40s, and he speaks the language now. Is he perfect at it? Probably not. But I know of no Americans who speak perfect English.

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  13. I thought I was popping in to read about the dangers of high temperatures when making marmalade. Who'd have thought that such innocuous sounding statements could be soooo rude. Thanks for the warning.

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  14. I speak four languages (three not all that fluently anymore) so I can attest to the rude and humorous (often) language errors so easy for foreigners to make. Fun post.
    From A to Z,
    Jagoda

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  15. This was a riot! We have a few of those in English-Arabic too. If I'm at a restaurant with a thirsty friend and tell the waiter I want two "teas" it means I want two a**es. When I call my hubby "dude" it means worm. (He has a sense of humor and calls me "duda" or female worm!) lol

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  16. oh, yeah. We just had a funny conversation recently about the word "PEACHES!" and this week there's a meme about the way the word "nothing" was used in the olden days... changes they way you interpret, "Much ado about nothing."

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