Your linguistic disasters

By Etaoin Shrdlu, in 'Other Languages', Feb 15, 2016.

  1. Fat before I know the word “constipation,” I had an incident which one of my friend was stuck in the restroom and the (American) teacher was looking for him. Since I did not know the word “constipation,” when the teacher asked me where he was, I simply told the American teacher that “He had trouble s**ting.”

    Result of the explanation was suboptimal.
  2. As a Chinese, I seldom use the term “Latin America,” but “Central America” and “Southern America” instead.

    Ironically, I was not cognizant of the usage of “Latin America” even after I first got in touch with Latin language, which was in my second year in the US (Hmmm, what had I been doing?)

    One day I was playing an online game, one of the player asked “Latino?” in the in-game chat.

    Finally seeing someone “speaking Latin,” I, still didn’t know the term “Latin America,” excitedly reply, “ITA VERO!”

    “Lingua Latina!!”
    We lost that game by the way.
  3. Last summer I traveled to Spain. On my way back, I transfer in Portugal. Knowing that Portuguese is similar to Spanish, I was ready to give it a shot.

    I looked up the conjugation of the verb “ter(to have)” when I was the second one in the line of a coffee shop.

    The Portuguese waitress: “Hi! What can I get for you?”

    I(peaking at my phone): “Mmm, vós...vós tendes espresso?” (Already deadly wrong for using vós which is obsolete)

    Waitress(barely understanding): Yes.

    I: “Mm, um espresso, por favor.” (Barely correct)

    Waitress: Yes.

    (I paid for the coffee.)

    I: Gracias! (Even more deadly “Portuñol”)

    Waitress(with abomination): “you are welcome!”

    I took my coffee, waking out of the coffee shop, feeling so proud of myself for speaking another language(or confusing another innocent Portuguese civilian).
  4. Even more story with me learning Portuguese

    After being unable to communicate with the Brazilians that I often meet in the game I play, I decided to put “some serious efforts” into Portuguese. With several YouTube videos of effort, I gained considerable courage to talk to the Portuguese Siri.

    I first try to let Siri to turn on the night shift. I looked up the work “to activate”, which is “ativar.” Assuming the 2nd person command is similar to Latin, I said

    “Siri, ativa Night Shift!”

    As my screen turned yellow, I was so happy. Then I said

    “Siri, desativa Night Shift!”

    When my screen was going back to normal, I realized that I should be pronouncing the -t- like a -ch-. “Not a big deal.” I thought. “Regional difference.”

    Then I tried to enable the Portuguese version of “Hey Siri,” which was “E aí Siri.”

    This time my accent had no mercy on me. I tried like six times before I realize that by pronouncing it like “e eye Siri,” there is no way of being recognized. So I decided to try something simple, I asked Siri, “quê horas são?”

    On the screen, I saw the word “coração” pop up. Then I decided that it’s time to turned off Siri and switched it back to English.
  5. Iohannes Aurum Technicus Auxiliarius

    • Technicus Auxiliarius
    A science teacher in high school once told a story about a student trying to say "organism" but ended up saying "orgasm."

    Hilarity ensued.
  6. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    I once typed "it buggered me" instead of "it bugged me" but I corrected it quickly. Hopefully before it got read by anyone... but I shall never know.
    Callaina likes this.
  7. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

    • Civis Illustris
  8. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    If you did it on this site, I'd assume the first version would have been sent to anyone following your posts. I can't be sure, as this site has an extraordinary number of ways of notifying members of things, most of which I think I've turned off.
  9. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    It wasn't on this site.

Share This Page


Our Latin forum is a community for discussion of all topics relating to Latin language, ancient and medieval world.

Latin Boards on this Forum:

English to Latin, Latin to English translation, general Latin language, Latin grammar, Latine loquere, ancient and medieval world links.