Your linguistic disasters

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
Horta.png


Not all that spectacular by thread standards, but there's something about the enthusiasm of the exclamation marks and the imagination displayed in the English that appeals to me. I might have posted this before, though, and there's no way to search for pics.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
If you've posted it before, I either haven't seen it or don't remember it.

I don't even know what it is exactly that they were trying to say. Not even in the French, though it seems like it must have been written by French speakers. I understand that the tavern is closed on weekends, but what does "first and second Holiday" or "jour et 2ieme jour ferrier" mean? I do understand that "ferrier" is a misspelling of "ferié", but "jour et 2ieme jour", wazat? Is the "2ieme jour ferrier" some idiom for what, in my neck of the woods, we call "le pont"? That's my best guess but I'm really not sure.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
As if those were the only "jours fériés" in the year...? Weird.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
Also, why list the hours individually by days, when they're all the same? And if memory serves, there's no sign with the hours visible from outside, which is unhelpful.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
Apart from the relatively few German speakers, they'd have spoken one or the other as their native language.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Even if few, those German-speaking Belgians exist. So "no real Belgian" is inaccurate.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I'm not sure how much of a linguistic disaster this is, but it's something that made me look a bit stupid. Not so long ago, I was interpreting between two people, one of whom spoke French and the other English. At some point, I nearly repeated in English to the French speaker what the English speaker had said, but caught myself in time, or at least before more than a syllable or two could come out of my mouth. Later, though, I downright repeated the French speaker's words in French to the English speaker. I think the whole sentence came out then, or nearly so.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
Even if few, those German-speaking Belgians exist. So "no real Belgian" is inaccurate.
I have only met one German-speaking Belgian, but I'd bet that's more than most people can say. It was in my hitch-hiking days, when I was going from York to Berlin, and the most sensible way to get across the Channel appeared to be to buy a ticket to 'any Belgian station' from London, so we chose Welkenraedt, if memory serves. The chap who went out of his way to take us to the German border was quite pleasant and spoke a variety of languages, as I imagine most other German-speaking Belgians would. They'd have managed better than I did in Leeuwarden.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
It was also in Leeuwarden that I met a German artist living there who spoke to the locals in English, although they would respond in Dutch. She admitted that she was too lazy to learn to speak Dutch properly, although she had no problem understanding it.

Which reminds me of one of my first linguistic disasters in the Netherlands. I assumed that, since I could understand Dutch if it were spoken very slowly and clearly, anybody I spoke to in German would understand me, if I spoke very slowly and clearly, even if they hadn't learnt the language. Furthermore, I thought that this would be more respectful than assuming they spoke English, as everyone does.

Tip for visitors to the Netherlands: do not do this. Ever.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
It was also in Leeuwarden that I met a German artist living there who spoke to the locals in English, although they would respond in Dutch. She admitted that she was too lazy to learn to speak Dutch properly, although she had no problem understanding it.
Lol. That reminds me of my teenage years ... I played Counterstrike on Dutch servers and in a Dutch clan (mainly because I thought Germans are stupid). I had no trouble understanding the Dutch chat, but I always responded in English because I couldn't speak any Dutch :)

Which reminds me of one of my first linguistic disasters in the Netherlands. I assumed that, since I could understand Dutch if it were spoken very slowly and clearly, anybody I spoke to in German would understand me, if I spoke very slowly and clearly, even if they hadn't learnt the language. Furthermore, I thought that this would be more respectful than assuming they spoke English, as everyone does.

Tip for visitors to the Netherlands: do not do this. Ever.

Lol ... what happened? :D
I'm very hesitant to speak German when I'm abroad. I know that a lot of Germans do because they think the whole world speaks German, but I think it can be quite impolite ... it becomes rather funny when it's not your native language and you still do, though :D
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
Do they really think that? I've seen a guidebook for Germans that advised them to learn a few words of the local language and not rely on English.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
Lol ... what happened?
The person I was speaking to said in no uncertain terms that he didn't speak German, in a tone that implied it was the last thing he'd ever do. Also, he assumed I was an arrogant German, and therefore contemptible. WWII is not entirely over.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Do they really think that? I've seen a guidebook for Germans that advised them to learn a few words of the local language and not rely on English.

It wouldn't have to be advised in guidebooks if they didn't :p
Maybe it's just my impression, but on holidays, I see a lot of Germans who just straight out speak German to locals assuming they'd understand. If they don't understand, they try to fix it by repeating the same German sentences, but a bit more slowly oO ...
You can grow quite oblivious to the fact that other languages are spoken in this world if you live in Germany. Every single movie on TV or in the cinema gets dubbed. If you go on holiday, almost every hotel has staff members that speak German ... so you're in for a real cultural shock when you leave your hotel and walk 50 metres to the nearest local restaurant ...
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
I've never understood why Germans prefer dubbed films, even when they understand the original language to some extent at least. Most say that reading distracts from the visual experience. Most other people find subtitled films a help when they're learning a language, since they can try to follow the dialogue but get help when they need it.
 
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