Embarrassing mistakes made when speaking German

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Vera, the way you described it it actually ends up being Vire which meas virus in English.

 

Edit: That is, it would be spelled Wire but pronounced the same as Vire.

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Ok, this is a classical one, but I managed to make a bad figure anyway...

Instead of asking "Sechs von denen" (six of those, referred to some weisswurst), i prounced the s of sechs too soft and the "e" of denen too open. The result was that I asked for "Sex von Daenen".

The girl serving weisswuerstchen didn't seem too impressed, maybe she was used to foreigners or to offer sex from danes...

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Not my mistake, but a friend asked 'Kann ich bitte die Toilette beschmuzten?' instead of 'benutzen' !

 

I got my prepositions mixed up and said 'Meine Mutter ist schon zwei Mal in Hamburg gekommen' instead of 'nach Hamburg gekommen'. I was corrected, but it wasn't explained what I'd said (although I realised straight away). I just acted all innocent, as though I hadn't realised what I'd said, as it would have been too embarrassing to acknowledge it!

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I was on the U-Bahn and noticed a mother with a cute daughter. I meant to ask, "Wie alt ist sie" but what came out ask "Wie alt sind Sie?" I didn't get a response. Ugh! :ph34r:

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I'm forever mixing up the words for selling and buying, at home, in stores, wherever. I now go far out of my way to express the need to buy something or someone's having sold something to me, just to avoid mixing them up again. And if I do get stuck and find I have to make a choice, I usually make a sort of half-grunt and then say "kaufen" really clearly, so it could go either way.

 

Who am I kidding, that gets me just as many weird looks.

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On a German exchange in year 12, we were talking about our German teacher with the Germans (she was a few seats away). I couldn't remember the word for "horrible", so I went for something I knew was bad and sounded similar. Needless to say, she overheard me telling them I thought she was "hässlich". I'm not sure whether she'd have been any less angry on hearing "gemein" actually...

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Misuse of Scheide as a polite word instead of Shade and Sheize. Can never forget the consequence of that though !

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On one of our first days here I was leaving a restaurant and the waitress said "Ciao!". I wanted to say "Have a good day" like "einen schönen Tag" or whatever but the German wasn't flowing very fast out of my mouth yet so all I ended up saying was "Tag". So it was like she said "goodbye!" and I said "hi!"

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That's not bad at all. I still sometimes get brainfreeze under pressure when my thoughts are elsewhere, and wind up cheerfully saying "Gaka!" or "Tlay!" or similar nonsense. Confused looks all around.

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I knew someone not long in Germany who introduced his mother-in-law as his "Schweinemutter" instead of "Schwiegermutter", luckily for him she saw the funny side of it and still winds him up about it.

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On a bike ride, trying to describe my 'po' pains and saying schmutzig instead of schmertzen. Oops!

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I remember having problems translating "I slept in". I knew it wasn't "eingeschlafen", and somehow figured it was "ausgeschlafen". So several times, I told my boss things like "Tut mir Leid dass ich so spät bin, ich habe ausgeschlafen".

 

Also, being new to German and watching Bram Stoker's Dracula. There were lots of references to love (sie liebt) and life (sie lebt!), and I just couldn't hear the difference. Then I think they threw the word liver (Leber) in too, just to make my confusion complete.

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I was in cafè and a lady on next table paid, got up (unaware that she dropped her gloves on the floor) and was heading out the door. Quickly thinking, I yelled "...Hey! Du da!" and pointed to her gloves on the floor. Needless to say, and the whole cafè looked at me, it got really quiet. :ph34r:

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Sometime back, my German friend invited me to some restaurant called "schließ-haus" ...Not exactly knowing how to pronounce that, i used it as "Scheiß-haus" (Shit-house) ...He came back with "We aint gonna have our lunch at a shit-house..are we?!?!" ...ooooppzzz..! :P

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I was with a bloke for the first time and we were kissing and stuff. He kept telling me that I was so 'Geil'. I had no idea what it meant but took it as a compliment. I asked my 9 year old daughter what 'geil' means and she told me it means really cool so I was walking on air thinking that this gorgeous guy thinks I'm totally cool.

 

So, the next day at work while chatting with mates and having a gossip, I announced 'Ich bin so geil'. They all burst out laughing and I felt really embarrassed. They explained to me that the word 'geil' when used by adults actually means 'horny', so I'd announced that I was very horny!

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