Maybe this will begin to balance it out a bit. Here are some bloopers by people whose native tongue is English but who are trying something in a new language. . . .

German

When President Kennedy visited Berlin, he wanted to say to the crowd, "Today, I am a Berliner." So he said, "Heute, ich bin ein Berliner." This is German for "Today, I am a Jelly Doughnut."

Italian

An American woman living in Italy double-parked just long enough to run in and out of a store. Turning to the native Italian woman with her, she wanted to say, "If a policeman comes by, tell him I'll be right back." Instead, she said, "If a suitcase comes by . . ."

An American man preaching to an Italian audience in their language tried to quote Jesus' statement "how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings." What a difference a syllable makes. His hen was gathering "fleas" under her wings!


Lithuanian

A family I know moved from Canada to Lithuania. A taxi was dropping the man and his young son off at a building that was set back quite a distance from the street. He said to the cabbie--I mean, he thought he said to the cabbie--"You can drive on the sidewalk." His son quickly corrected him: "Dad, you just told him he can drive on the weekend!"

Luang

What follows are some quotes from the Bible and the way they accidently came out when first translated into Luang:

John 3:30 He must become greater; I must become less. He must become greater, but I have to go to the bathroom.
Romans 1:17 The righteous shall live by faith. The righteous will keep having babies forever because of their faith
Romans 8:23 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him graciously give us all things? If he didn't even spare his own Son from death, what in the world is he going to do to us?


Polish

An English-speaking man before a Polish-speaking audience attempted to communicate just one sentence in their language. I don't know what he meant to say, but what they heard translates to "My uncle's chicken is dancing in his underwear."

Russian

Reporter (in front of Russian sign): Are you having any trouble with the Russian language?
Connie Chung: Not at all.
Reporter: Well, then, why are you standing in the men's room?

Spanish

One of the ladies in our Spanish Club was working at a garage sale, when a Hispanic woman asked how much for a certain pair of shoes. They were two dollars, but instead of "dos dolares," my friend said "dos dolores," i.e "two pains." No sale.
THE RUSSLER
Word Wild Web
Dumb Things People Say
Lien À Trois
Elmwood Court
E-mail