Lingo probs ... where, why ...

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by stcyr, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    Anyone got any stories about situations, when touring abroad, where proficiency in the appropriate language would've been a help? -

    No, language language not bad language! :Rofl1:
     
  2. Stephen & Jeannie

    Stephen & Jeannie Read Only Funster

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    Hola Senorita !!!

    Ladies sitting by the side of the road on plastic chairs could not give me directions to the nearest aire !!!!!:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
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  3. brodie

    brodie Funster

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    This was the first time in France as a young family, we only our little girl and I think she was around 2ish. We were driving round in the car and needed some fuel.

    I had a Golf TDI at that point and when the light came on it still ran forever so thought we would fill it up at the end of the day.

    On coming to the fuel station in the supermarket only the card machines were open it was a Monday and a Bank Holiday which we didn't realise :Doh:

    Anyhoo on trying every single card we had, the machine just would not take any and we had no way of getting any fuel to get us back. We were by this point on absolute fumes :Eeek:

    A lovely French guy came over seeing were about to have a domestic to offer his help. All we had to go on was the common language of gesticulating and much acting to demostrate our problem as he didn't speak ONE word of English and us very few French words. How I wish we could have at least given a few lines of his mother tongue! Well...in the end he let us fill up on his card and we gave him the Euros in cash, he was not hesitant to offer at all and all we could mange was a very grateful Merci and a very genuine look of thanks on our faces!!!

    Suffice to say we were very embarrased but on the upside I have finally got my bottom into gear (after 8 yrs) and have been at evening classes since September to learn conversational French which has been fantastic :thumb:
     
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  4. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi salopian ,bet they knew of a bed for the night though.
    get the same difficulty with those in the white boots near roundabouts . confusing isnt it.
     
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  5. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Many years and in a previous marriage I was despatched to a German pharmacy to buy sanitary towels, Just my luck to have the only German for miles around who spoke no English and I have no German :Eek!:. These places have nothing on display to point to. After what seemed an age of charades :Blush: I suddenly thought of the magic word 'tampax' thank goodness for multinational brands.
     
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  6. johnp10

    johnp10 Funster

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    Similar situation in Malaysia, though not sanitary products.
    The world recognised brand in this case was "Rennie".
     
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  7. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    a word i keep hearing when abroad in strange places is one for selotape. scotch .many places in africa and the middle east its just scotch.
    i thought they were offering whiskie at first .
     
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  8. darklord

    darklord Read Only Funster

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    On the usual bucket holiday to menorca, we popped into the local supermarket to stock up on goodies and snacks. We topped up several times during the break, and on the last day, i decided to take home some of the biscuits i had been keen on.........when presented with three of the large bags, the cashier said "Ah,..dog like?"
    My family still take the piss:BigGrin:
     
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  9. Gooney

    Gooney Funster

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    Many years ago I was recruited along with 4 other candidates to lead the start up process for a multi national company building a new production mill in our area, we went to the States to learn the process and one of my collegues went to the American Mill directors secretary to ask for some stationery items for us to take notes with, he asked if she had any rubbers, the woman threw a hissie fit, he should have asked for erasers, rubbers in the States are Condoms!! :Doh:
     
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  10. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    An interesting side line to your story. I believe there is a law in both France and Germany that forbids the use of foreign language in public information text's (adverts). So I wonder what language did "Tampax" come from.

    Doug...
     
  11. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Decided at 19 I was going to see the world and got on a ferry at Dover. After not much time at all ran out of money but considered that as Germany was close at hand, a booming economy and I vaguely knew one person there I would give that a try.

    Person was lovely and got me a job 'helping' in a factory where my not one word of German wouldn't be too much of a hinderance.

    I was young and picked up the laguage quite quickly but it was mostly swear words and slang, but that's what they spoke on the factory floor.

    After a couple of months my 'German' was coming along and I had been accepted by the working folk. I thought, these Germans are so considerate they keep asking me how I was and always listened with interest to my answer, but some would run off after I answered and I thought I heard laughter sometimes.

    By now it was high summer and it was a hot one, so when still frequently asked how I was I would say " Ich bin warm " as it was hot in that factory.
    Sometime later I commented to my friend that the people in the factory were so considerate in always asking how I was, especially the big burley factory workers, but there were a few odd looks and some ran off.

    She asked what I replied and when told she exploded with laughter, ' you have been telling them for months you are gay ! '

    Never assume that because a word is the same in two languages it has the same meaning !!!
     
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  12. Detnor

    Detnor Funster

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    I had a problem in America back in the 1980's. Working on a cruise ship, I decided to try to fix a jammed photocopier as we were at sea, and sent a message to the engineers asking for a couple of screwdrivers and a torch.

    An hour later 2 crew arrived with an oxyacetylene welding unit and a selection of screwdrivers. I don't know what they thought I was going to do to the photocopier, but I soon knew the difference between torch and flashlight.

    Needless to say, the beers were on me....
     
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  13. Welsh girl

    Welsh girl Funster Life Member

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    We were in france last year when tez popped the valve inside his bike tyre so when we tried to ask the family who ran the camp site we were attention for a valve for a tyre they didn't know what we were trying to ask them so and i knew the name for bike which is velo but thats all i knew so after much gesticulating called the owner over to our van and showed him the missing valve and he brought an old punctured tyre from his garage and gave it to us . i resolved then to try and learn some French .we were very grateful to that man as the nearest bike shop was 50kilometres away and we use our bikes a lot
     
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  14. sue1959

    sue1959 Read Only Funster

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    When asking for bread in the local bakery when on holiday in France couldn't understand why I was getting funny looks every morning. When I got home I realised I'd been asking for a Bain not Pain. But still got my bread though not the bath.
     
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  15. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    They'd have taken you in hand if you'd given them a chance.
     
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  16. keith

    keith Funster

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    Years ago we lived on Romney Marsh in Kent. Anyone who knows the area will know that it is a low flat coastal area drained by lots of ditches.
    One evening my son walked the dogs and seemed to take a long time so we were a little concerned. We said to our american guest staying with us that we hoped he hadn't fallen into a dyke (the name used by the locals for the ditches) at which she looked absolutely appalled......... because of course that's the word for lesbian in the US. :Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
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  17. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    no problems abroad .... but all the time here in Suffolk ... :Doh:
     
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  18. Rayb182

    Rayb182 Funster Life Member

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    Oh, Arrr :Rofl1:
     
  19. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    oooh arrr... jim lad :Laughing:

    seriously.. I have an elderly neighbour and I canna understand a word.. I just nod and make appropriate noises.. like .. oh arr :Laughing:
     
  20. TheTwoOfUs

    TheTwoOfUs Funster

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    On honeymoon in Ibiza in 1970 I had the one and only pint of beer I've ever had when I'd actually asked for an apple pie.:Doh:
     
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