So most of you know that I am in France right now doing my best to learn the language. If you have ever attempted another language you know it can be super hard and sometimes rather hilarious & even more often embarrassing. There have been quite a few times I have struggled through conversations only to find out later they were talking about something else. And it’s funny.
So today I thought I’d share with you some funny mishaps that have happened to me while trying to communicate in French.
I have heard that some of the first words people learn in another language are often the cuss words. This isn’t the case for me. In fact, I still only know like 2 or 3. I don’t cuss in English, I’m not gonna start in French. Or knowingly anyway…
So one day I was hanging out with my friend and she asked me if I wanted to have coffee with her. Sure, I said! Sounds fun. She asked me where I wanted to go – this cafe or that. My response was “I don’t give a f**k.” This was the only way I knew how to say “oh, I don’t mind” and I had picked it up from my husband’s teammates.
Now, like I said, you guys, I don’t use bad language. So when I saw her face after using this phrase when it came to which location to have our coffee, I was quite confused. Thankfully, she was kind enough to tell me that phrase was a little harsh when to referring to the simple things and gave me another phrase to use.
That is the last time I learn any French from basketball players!!
This one happened recently, just last week. I was talking with a friend and we were discussing how she was similar to my husband and I was similar to her boyfriend with some things we did. Then she used a phrase that means “that’s funny” in French. But to me it sounded like “it’s brown.” So I’m sitting there looking around for what’s brown trying to understand what she was talking about.
The only thing I noticed was that she and my husband were wearing brown shoes and her husband and I were wearing black shoes. Oh, my gosh, you guys, I should have just laughed and acted like I understood. But no, I commented on it. Then they sat there discussing what they thought I understood, finally realizing I didn’t understand and explaining this slang to me. Oh man, embarrassing but funny.
These two are both funny and somewhat embarrassing. However, there are times when the language barrier has worked in my favor. For example, 3 years ago in my older son’s first year of Kindergarten here he had a teacher that had a small waist and a bum that was a little bit on the larger side. WHO KNEW that 3-year-olds notice these things?? I certainly didn’t! After exiting the classroom one day he says “Mommy, my teacher has a big booty.”
See, where normally this would have made me want to crawl away and hide (I still kinda did) I had to realize that one – she didn’t speak English (phew!) and two – even if she did speak a little, he said “booty” instead of butt or bottom and it’s kinda slang. I came to the conclusion that I’m pretty certain she didn’t understand.
The same thing happened just a couple weeks ago with my younger son in a grocery store to an older lady. What is it with my kids and big booties? I guess they are half black after all. It’s in their blood!
Oh, I’m sure I have many more I’m forgetting and many more to come. I am pretty sure I’m not alone here – have you made any funny/embarrassing mistakes in another language? Or ever in your own? Please share in the comments and we can all get a good laugh!
This also might become a series because I’m pretty sure I’m not done with saying stupid things in French.