History Main / MyHoverCraftIsFullOfEels

23rd Sep '16 1:55:16 PM TheKaizerreich
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* German school books tend to have fun with this. As an example given, an English man orders a dry martini in a bar. The bartender gives him three martinis, because "dry" (which in German is "trocken") sounds like the German number "drei" (i.e. "three").
23rd Sep '16 1:40:38 PM TheKaizerreich
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** In another example, the girls talk about something fairly mundane, then the word "ichigo" falls. Ichigo can also mean "strawberry", prompting Tsukasa to request some, confusing the others in the process.
22nd Sep '16 11:48:31 AM CaptainTedium
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* In the ''WesternAnimation/MightyMax'' episode "Beetlemania", Max attempts to calm a Peruvian woman down by talking to her in Spanish. Bea giggles and informs Max that he just said "Don't cry. We'll eat your feet."
19th Sep '16 9:50:46 PM BatteryPoweredAmp
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***It's also a subtle dig at his status as a highfalutin lawyer: these are phrases he would presumably have memorized so he could say them to Spanish-speaking hotel maids and valets.
19th Sep '16 9:34:31 PM BatteryPoweredAmp
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**Not entirely inconceivable in real life: in Spanish, Spain is "España" and sponge is "esponja".
19th Sep '16 5:07:28 PM DesertDragon
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* An interesting non-vocal example happened on ''Series/DancingWithTheStars''. Supermodel Nyle [=DiMarco=] is deaf and relied on visual cues to do the dances. At one point he and his partner were dancing separately and she motioned him to walk over to her; it was supposed to be a flirty "come hither" gesture, but the exact motion she used (with all five fingers) is the ASL sign for "Get over here NOW!", causing Nyle to run to her, which briefly threw off their timing. They were able to play it off though, and viewers were none the wiser.



* An interesting non-vocal example happened on ''Series/DancingWithTheStars''. Model Nyle [=DiMarco=] is deaf and relied on visual cues to do the dances. At one point his partner motioned him to come here; it was supposed to be a flirty "come hither," but the exact motion she used (using all five fingers) is the ASL gesture for "Get over here NOW!", causing Nyle to run to her, which briefly threw off their timing. They were able to walk it out though, and viewers were none the wiser.
19th Sep '16 9:54:33 AM DesertDragon
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* An interesting non-vocal example happened on ''Series/DancingWithTheStars''. Model Nyle [=DiMarco=] is deaf and relied on visual cues to do the dances. At one point his partner motioned him to come here; it was supposed to be a flirty "come hither," but the exact motion she used (using all five fingers) is the ASL gesture for "Get over here NOW!", causing Nyle to run to her, which briefly threw off their timing. They were able to walk it out though, and viewers were none the wiser.
2nd Sep '16 5:12:28 PM esq263
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* The infamous comments of Madam Ngo Dinh Nhu, describing the Buddhist self-immolations in South Vietnam as "barbecues", may be an example of this. According to historian Warren Carroll, Madame Nhu overheard American journalists using the word "barbecue" to describe the incidents, and, not being familiar with English and therefore, not realizing that the word was an UnusualDysphemism, used it in a national broadcast, provoking worldwide outrage. (Although one must question the authenticity of this explanation, given the other offensive things Madame Nhu had said, before and since.)

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* The infamous comments of Madam Ngo Dinh Nhu, describing the Buddhist self-immolations in South Vietnam as "barbecues", may be an example of this. According to historian Warren Carroll, Madame Nhu overheard American journalists using the word "barbecue" to describe the incidents, and, not being familiar with English and therefore, not realizing that the word was an UnusualDysphemism, used it in a national broadcast, provoking worldwide outrage. (Although one must question the authenticity veracity of this explanation, given the other offensive things Madame Nhu had said, before and since.)
31st Aug '16 4:52:44 PM Malady
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* In ''Borgel'' by Creator/DanielPinkwater, the title character gets into a conversation in a language he doesn't speak at all. His conversational partner later informs him that he'd claimed to be a politically corrupt sardine who likes to eat the tires off motorcycles. ("I said that?" "Like a native.")

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* In ''Borgel'' ''Literature/{{Borgel}}'' by Creator/DanielPinkwater, the title character gets into a conversation in a language he doesn't speak at all. His conversational partner later informs him that he'd claimed to be a politically corrupt sardine who likes to eat the tires off motorcycles. ("I said that?" "Like a native.")



** ''Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need'' plays with this by having translation guides that mostly consist of random sentences in English like "You bum, there is a fish in your library." The foreign translations were mostly just gibberish.

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** ''Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need'' ''Literature/DaveBarrysOnlyTravelGuideYoullEverNeed'' plays with this by having translation guides that mostly consist of random sentences in English like "You bum, there is a fish in your library." The foreign translations were mostly just gibberish.



* Creator/SJPerelman used this occasionally; at one point in ''Westward Ha!'', he asks a Far Eastern noble "whether the pen of his uncle is in the garden". In a mild variation, the person he's talking to actually speaks perfect idiomatic English.

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* Creator/SJPerelman used this occasionally; at one point in ''Westward ''[[Literature/WestwardHa Westward Ha!'', he asks a Far Eastern noble "whether the pen of his uncle is in the garden". In a mild variation, the person he's talking to actually speaks perfect idiomatic English.



* ''My Most Excellent Year'' by Steve Kluger has a number of sign-language examples, as many of the characters find themselves needing to rapidly learn American Sign Language after a six-year-old Deaf boy attaches himself to them.

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* ''My Most Excellent Year'' ''Literature/MyMostExcellentYear'' by Steve Kluger has a number of sign-language examples, as many of the characters find themselves needing to rapidly learn American Sign Language after a six-year-old Deaf boy attaches himself to them.



* The book ''Japan-Think, Ameri-Think'' has an example performed by the author himself, who's actually fluent. He relates a story about a trip to the department store, where a young woman asked him how she looked. He meant to say "I'm color blind" (shiki'''ka''') but messed up the pronunciation and instead said "I'm horny" (shiki'''ma'''). [[HilarityEnsues Hilarity Ensued]] until the author's Japanese wife stepped in and resolved the situation.

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* The book ''Japan-Think, ''[[Literature/JapanThinkAmeriThink Japan-Think, Ameri-Think'' has an example performed by the author himself, who's actually fluent. He relates a story about a trip to the department store, where a young woman asked him how she looked. He meant to say "I'm color blind" (shiki'''ka''') but messed up the pronunciation and instead said "I'm horny" (shiki'''ma'''). [[HilarityEnsues Hilarity Ensued]] until the author's Japanese wife stepped in and resolved the situation.



* The spin-off book ''Klingon for the Galactic Traveller'' has a whole section devoted to avoiding this. There is a tiny difference between "luq, joHwI' (Yes, my lord)" and "lu joHwI' (My lord falls from power)". Also, "Huch [=DaHutlh=] (Thou lackest money)" sounds like "Quch [=DaHutlh=] (Thou lackest a forehead)". (Which would be a huge insult in Klingon, as saying that someone's forehead grooves are inadequate or lacking is one of the worst things you can say.) And mispronouncing "qaH (sir)" as "qagh (gagh, a dish of worms)", well...

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* The spin-off book ''Klingon for the Galactic Traveller'' ''Literature/KlingonForTheGalacticTraveller'' has a whole section devoted to avoiding this. There is a tiny difference between "luq, joHwI' (Yes, my lord)" and "lu joHwI' (My lord falls from power)". Also, "Huch [=DaHutlh=] (Thou lackest money)" sounds like "Quch [=DaHutlh=] (Thou lackest a forehead)". (Which would be a huge insult in Klingon, as saying that someone's forehead grooves are inadequate or lacking is one of the worst things you can say.) And mispronouncing "qaH (sir)" as "qagh (gagh, a dish of worms)", well...



* In Craig Shaw Gardner's ''Bride of the Slime Monster'' the main character ends up in a foreign film universe at one point, [[{{RuleOfFunny}} complete with subtitles]]. Using a great deal of misinterpreted pantomime, he tries to get one of the locals to teach him how to say "See you in the funny papers," which is the magic phrase needed to travel to another movieverse. His first attempt comes out as "Looking at you with the humorous books."
* In the Literature/KinseyMillhone book ''J is for Judgement'', Kinsey goes to Mexico after having taken a Spanish class. She's mastered exactly one phrase ("Hay muchos gatos negros en los arboles.")

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* In Craig Shaw Gardner's ''Bride of the Slime Monster'' ''Literature/BrideOfTheSlimeMonster'' the main character ends up in a foreign film universe at one point, [[{{RuleOfFunny}} complete with subtitles]]. Using a great deal of misinterpreted pantomime, he tries to get one of the locals to teach him how to say "See you in the funny papers," which is the magic phrase needed to travel to another movieverse. His first attempt comes out as "Looking at you with the humorous books."
* In the Literature/KinseyMillhone ''Literature/KinseyMillhone'' book ''J is for Judgement'', Kinsey goes to Mexico after having taken a Spanish class. She's mastered exactly one phrase ("Hay muchos gatos negros en los arboles.")



* In ''Pyramid Scheme'', Jerry tells [[TheMillstone Lt Salinas]] that a certain phrase in Ancient Greek means "I am your friend." Salinas tells this phrase to Circe and promptly [[BalefulPolymorph gets turned into a pig]]. The exact phrase and its meaning are never provided, but it was implied to be an extremely obscene insult.

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* In ''Pyramid Scheme'', ''Literature/PyramidScheme'', Jerry tells [[TheMillstone Lt Salinas]] that a certain phrase in Ancient Greek means "I am your friend." Salinas tells this phrase to Circe and promptly [[BalefulPolymorph gets turned into a pig]]. The exact phrase and its meaning are never provided, but it was implied to be an extremely obscene insult.
27th Aug '16 3:34:35 AM morenohijazo
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* ''ComicBook/ZipiYZape'': In ''Robinsones Zapatilla'', Pantuflo tries to communicate with a savage tribe. It doesn't end well.
-->'''Jaimita:''' No, silly... ''(takes the dictionary from Pantuflo and does an "OhCrap" face)'' [[EpicFail You told him "your father's a complete faggot"!]]
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