History Main / MyHoverCraftIsFullOfEels

20th Jul '16 2:27:45 PM accidentallythesun
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** Ami's is only barely better than Makoto's, really. It's not that there's anything ''technically'' wrong with her greeting, but considering she's meeting a stranger for the first time, "I'm glad to see you" is hardly a fitting greeting.
19th Jul '16 9:41:17 PM Pegase
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%%This folder is alphabetized. Please enter new content into the appropriate places to keep it alphabetized for ease of use.



* Long long ago, in ''Series/ILoveLucy'', Lucy was meeting her in-laws the Ricardos of Cuba for the first time. She tries to be polite with a few memorized phrases, but botches the pronunciation. So instead of saying a polite "Thank you" to her father-in-law, she calls him a "fat pig". HilarityEnsues.
* On ''Series/ISurvivedAJapaneseGameShow'', one contestant's attempt at pronouncing "fuitte mo ii desu ka?" ("May I wipe it?") was subtitled "But, the well is it Switzerland?"[[note]]The subtitler appears to have interpreted it as "demo ido suissu ka?" but his pronunciation was closer to "te mo idu suissu ka" which would at best translate to "Are hands also (gibberish) Switzerland?" -- nothing in the entire Japanese language sounds anything remotely like "idu".[[/note]]



* Long long ago, in ''Series/ILoveLucy'', Lucy was meeting her in-laws the Ricardos of Cuba for the first time. She tries to be polite with a few memorized phrases, but botches the pronunciation. So instead of saying a polite "Thank you" to her father-in-law, she calls him a "fat pig". HilarityEnsues.



* In the pilot episode of the 2013 series ''{{Lucky 7}}'', Nicky attempts to impress Mary by telling her in Spanish that she is beautiful, but she informs him he actually said she was "duck like".



* ''Series/MIHigh'': In "The Wasp", Mr Flatley attempts to welcome a new deaf student to the school by signing "Hello and welcome to St. Hope's". According to Oscar, he actually asked Avril to go and buy some sausages.



* In the lost ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' short ''Assignment Venezuela,'' they invoke this trope as the short's narrator finds his phrasebook Spanish doesn't help him:
-->'''Mike:''' (as a Venezuelan customs agent) "No, I will not give you foot massage."



* PlayedForDrama and left as a BilingualBonus in a ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'' episode partially dealing with [[HeroOfAnotherStory another NCIS unit]]. A carload of drug cartel members crashes in front of them during a short ChaseScene and the survivor gets out. They holler at him to throw down his weapon but he apparently doesn't speak English. One of the team members is told to tell him in Spanish, and he uncertainly goes, "Tire ... la pistola--" and the guy shoots the gun off at an angle and the team fills him with lead. [[BilingualBonus For tropers who don't speak Spanish]], the cartel member was actually told to ''fire'' the pistol--"tirar" means both "to throw" and "to shoot a gun". He should've said something like "Baja la pistola."[[labelnote:*]]"Put the gun down."[[/labelnote]]



* Tina of ''Series/OtherSpace'' speaks Russian natively, but uses TranslatorMicrobes to speak English most of the time. When they are deactivated in a power outage her English turns into this.
--> '''Mike''': Anybody using power should probably go.
--> '''Tina''': (deactivates the robot) Good morning, A.R.T.
--> '''Mike''': Now we end Natasha?
--> '''Tina''': Yes, I want to go back to the hotel.



* The episode "[[Recap/StarTrekVoyagerS6E18AshesToAshes Ashes To Ashes]]" of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' had this: "That's very sweet of you, but you just told me the comets are tiresome."



* One episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' centers around an alien race whose speech, while translatable, makes little to no sense due to their continuous use of metaphor and references to their own literature and mythology, which ends up making every translated sentence sound similar to this. The equivalent would be a language composed almost entirely of quotes of the works of Shakespeare. While you might understand what the words mean, without the proper context to give understanding to the reference, they're gibberish.
** [[Webcomic/{{XKCD}} Darmok and Jalad at Kalenda's!]]
* The episode "[[Recap/StarTrekVoyagerS6E18AshesToAshes Ashes To Ashes]]" of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' had this: "That's very sweet of you, but you just told me the comets are tiresome."



** In another episode, Cody practices his Japanese by greeting a singer from Japan. It comes out as "My bellybutton grows watermelons."



* ''Series/{{Veep}}'': In the Season 2 episode when the Vice President and her entourage visit Finland, Gary keeps introducing himself to people in Finnish as Selina's "bagman". Except it turns out that he's actually calling himself something vaguely like "man bag" -- in other words, a scrotum. He's not happy when he's told this.







* ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'':
** Cody practises his Japanese by greeting a singer from Japan. It comes out as "My bellybutton grows watermelons."
** Cody tries it with a group of Japanese guests, this time saying "I have a hornet's nest in my pants.", which causes them to flee the building.



* One episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' centers around an alien race whose speech, while translatable, makes little to no sense due to their continuous use of metaphor and references to their own literature and mythology, which ends up making every translated sentence sound similar to this. The equivalent would be a language composed almost entirely of quotes of the works of Shakespeare. While you might understand what the words mean, without the proper context to give understanding to the reference, they're gibberish.
** [[Webcomic/{{XKCD}} Darmok and Jalad at Kalenda's!]]
* In the pilot episode of the 2013 series ''{{Lucky 7}}'', Nicky attempts to impress Mary by telling her in Spanish that she is beautiful, but she informs him he actually said she was "duck like".
* On ''Series/ISurvivedAJapaneseGameShow'', one contestant's attempt at pronouncing "fuitte mo ii desu ka?" ("May I wipe it?") was subtitled "But, the well is it Switzerland?"[[note]]The subtitler appears to have interpreted it as "demo ido suissu ka?" but his pronunciation was closer to "te mo idu suissu ka" which would at best translate to "Are hands also (gibberish) Switzerland?" -- nothing in the entire Japanese language sounds anything remotely like "idu".[[/note]]
* ''Series/{{Veep}}'': In the Season 2 episode when the Vice President and her entourage visit Finland, Gary keeps introducing himself to people in Finnish as Selina's "bagman". Except it turns out that he's actually calling himself something vaguely like "man bag" -- in other words, a scrotum. He's not happy when he's told this.
* PlayedForDrama and left as a BilingualBonus in a ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'' episode partially dealing with [[HeroOfAnotherStory another NCIS unit]]. A carload of drug cartel members crashes in front of them during a short ChaseScene and the survivor gets out. They holler at him to throw down his weapon but he apparently doesn't speak English. One of the team members is told to tell him in Spanish, and he uncertainly goes, "Tire ... la pistola--" and the guy shoots the gun off at an angle and the team fills him with lead. [[BilingualBonus For tropers who don't speak Spanish]], the cartel member was actually told to ''fire'' the pistol--"tirar" means both "to throw" and "to shoot a gun". He should've said something like "Baja la pistola."[[labelnote:*]]"Put the gun down."[[/labelnote]]
* Tina of ''Series/OtherSpace'' speaks Russian natively, but uses TranslatorMicrobes to speak English most of the time. When they are deactivated in a power outage her English turns into this.
--> '''Mike''': Anybody using power should probably go.
--> '''Tina''': (deactivates the robot) Good morning, A.R.T.
--> '''Mike''': Now we end Natasha?
--> '''Tina''': Yes, I want to go back to the hotel.
* ''Series/MIHigh'': In "The Wasp", Mr Flatley attempts to welcome a new deaf student to the school by signing "Hello and welcome to St. Hope's". According to Oscar, he actually asked Avril to go and buy some sausages.
* In the lost ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' short ''Assignment Venezuela,'' they invoke this trope as the short's narrator finds his phrasebook Spanish doesn't help him:
-->'''Mike:''' (as a Venezuelan customs agent) "No, I will not give you foot massage."



* In ''ComicStrip/OverTheHedge'', Verne tries to learn to speak Dude, in which complex sentences can be conveyed just by pronouncing "dude" the right way. He never comes close.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Candorville}}'': Lemont does this in...[[http://candorville.com/2007/02/21/book-2/ let's call it grunt-speak.]]
* In ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'', an alien misreads a dictionary and accidentally says "Take me to your stove".


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* ''ComicStrip/{{Candorville}}'': Lemont does this in...[[http://candorville.com/2007/02/21/book-2/ let's call it grunt-speak.]


Added DiffLines:

* In ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'', an alien misreads a dictionary and accidentally says "Take me to your stove".
* In ''ComicStrip/OverTheHedge'', Verne tries to learn to speak Dude, in which complex sentences can be conveyed just by pronouncing "dude" the right way. He never comes close.
19th Jul '16 9:26:58 PM Pegase
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* The ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' is the TropeNamer: the confusing and increasingly offensive sentences come from a maliciously written phrasebook. Examples include "I will not buy this record, it is scratched" written instead of "I'd like to buy a pack of cigarettes" and "My hovercraft is full of eels" for "I'd also like a box of matches" -- what a scheme!
* ''InLivingColor'' does their own take [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Ggi4Ru5Lg here.]] An unassuming American ambassador is assigned to work in a third world country. Her interpreter is a trickster of a man and not much of a diplomat. Whoever taught her the sentence to say played a sick joke on her as well. Strange how she can be '''this''' naive, though.
* The ''Series/ICarly'' episode "iGo to Japan" had a Japanese speaker saying "Hello, I have a bladder infection" to the kids because he was using a Japanese-English English-Japanese dictionary. Subverted in that he was actually trying to communicate his bladder infection.
* An episode of ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'' involved a group of Japanese tourists coming to the Tipton hotel. Cody, who's learning Japanese, tries to ask them how the flight went. Instead he says "[[spoiler: I have a hornet's nest in my pants.]]" The tourists all run away, as Cody shrugs it off saying, "I guess it was bouncy."
* On ''Series/{{QI}}'' in series F's episode about the future, Stephen Fry uses this phrase as an example sentence ''in [[UsefulNotes/EsperantoTheUniversalLanguage Esperanto]]''. After some hints, Rob Brydon goes from ''My cousin is a meerkat of strange angles'' to the words for 'eels' and 'hovercraft'. When he puts the sentence together, he still can't believe it:
-->'''Stephen''': Let's see if you can guess this one: "Mia kusenventurilo estas plena de angiloj."
-->'''Rob''': My cousin is a meerkat of strange angles.
-->''[...]''
-->'''Stephen''': Yes, 'my hovercraft is full of eels.'
-->'''Rob''': ...Seriously?
-->'''Stephen''': Yes.
-->'''Rob''': (laughing) I thought you were being cross with me there, you were saying that just to move on!
* ''Series/{{CHiPs}}'' had an American Sign Language variant: Ponch was telling the deaf parents of a woman that he would bring her home tonight in English, but what he's 'saying' in sign language causes the woman to say, bemusedly, "Ponch, you mixed up some signs. You told my parents that we are going necking and that you told my parents you'd bring me home ''tomorrow''!"
* ''Series/TriggerHappyTV'' had a recurring sketch featuring a Scandinavian man asking random people on the streets very poorly worded and outrageous questions or statements, with a thick Scandinavian accent.
* In the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "School Hard", while studying French, Buffy says something in French that translates to "The cow should touch me from Thursday."[[note]]La vache devrait me toucher de jeudi.[[/note]] And she said it wrong.[[note]]She says, "La vache doit me touche de la jeudi" in an ''atrocious'' accent. This means (roughly) what they say it does, though she uses the indicative present instead of the conditional (so that "should" becomes "must"), conjugates the verb "toucher" (to touch) rather than using the infinitive, and the use of the definite article "la" before "jeudi" ("Thursday") is nonsensical.[[/note]]

to:

* The ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' is the TropeNamer: the confusing and increasingly offensive sentences come from Occurs on ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' when Mary gives a maliciously written phrasebook. Examples include "I will not buy this record, it is scratched" written instead of "I'd like talk to buy a pack of cigarettes" and "My hovercraft is full of eels" for "I'd also like a box of matches" -- what a scheme!
* ''InLivingColor'' does their own take [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Ggi4Ru5Lg here.]] An unassuming American ambassador is assigned to work in a third world country. Her interpreter is a trickster of a man and not much of a diplomat. Whoever taught her the sentence to say played a sick joke on her as well. Strange how she can be '''this''' naive, though.
* The ''Series/ICarly'' episode "iGo to Japan" had a Japanese speaker saying "Hello, I have a bladder infection"
foreign visitors to the kids because he was using a Japanese-English English-Japanese dictionary. Subverted in that he was actually trying to communicate his bladder infection.
* An episode of ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'' involved a group of Japanese tourists coming to the Tipton hotel. Cody, who's learning Japanese, tries to ask them how the flight went. Instead he says "[[spoiler: I have a hornet's nest in my pants.]]" The tourists all run away, as Cody shrugs it off saying, "I guess
university. Since her editor decided it was bouncy.easier to just pretend Mary's speech was perfect so she could go drinking, Mary ends up inviting the visitors to her "womanly place," and tells them that "there's room for everyone."
* On ''Series/{{QI}}'' in series F's episode about Murdock may be ''Series/TheATeam'''s resident {{Omniglot}}, but his Italian isn't too great. Although the future, Stephen Fry uses English speaking mooks around him don't know any better and it helps his disguise, it culminates in him asking two men to have his baby.
* {{Nickelodeon}}'s sketch comedy show ''Series/AllThat'' had the recurring skit "Everyday French with Pierre Escargot" where Kenan Thompson as Pierre Escargot taught the viewer how to say grammatically correct but nonsensical French phrases:
--> "Your wallpaper is making my eyebrows explode!"
* The cast of ''Series/AlloAllo'' dread the appearance of "That British idiot who thinks he can speak French". While he technically knows the right words, his pronunciation is horrific and he usually comes out with naughty-sounding sentences such as "I was pissing (passing) by your coffee (cafe)". Of course, what's interesting is that
this phrase relies on the understanding that although the dialogue is in clear (if accented) English, the characters [[TranslationConvention are actually "speaking"- and understanding- French]]. And the British policeman's dialogue is attempting to represent how a very bad French speaker would come across to them.
* Happens during a case involving two Latin dancers in ''Series/AllyMcBeal'' where John Cage, interrupting the two dancers (who constantly argue in Spanish) sputters out such phrases
as an example sentence ''in [[UsefulNotes/EsperantoTheUniversalLanguage Esperanto]]''. After some hints, Rob Brydon goes from ''My cousin is 'I want to ride a meerkat of strange angles'' little pony!' and 'I want a cookie!' to the words bemusement of those present.
* One Detour in Season 14 of ''Series/TheAmazingRace'' required teams to listen to customers ordering food in Chinese, then repeat the orders to a chef. It was easy
for 'eels' Tammy and 'hovercraft'. When he puts Victor since they spoke the sentence together, he still can't believe it:
-->'''Stephen''': Let's see if you can guess this one: "Mia kusenventurilo estas plena de angiloj.
language, but Kisha and Jen had a little difficulty: instead of ordering "New Taste Beef" they ordered "Oil Comes Again to Please the Mouth," and "Golden Pork Spare Ribs" got lost in translation as "Light Competition Red Dishes I've Played Before."
-->'''Rob''': My cousin * ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'': When Harper tries to say an old Vedran proverb ("A wise man knows his limitations") to Rev but ends up saying, "A fast swimmer keeps no pets." Since Vedran is a meerkat of strange angles.
-->''[...]''
-->'''Stephen''': Yes, 'my hovercraft is full of eels.'
-->'''Rob''': ...Seriously?
-->'''Stephen''': Yes.
-->'''Rob''': (laughing) I thought you were being cross with me there, you were saying that just
made-up language, there is, understandably, no way to move on!
* ''Series/{{CHiPs}}'' had an American Sign Language variant: Ponch was telling the deaf parents of a woman
verify that. He also tries to brag to Beka that he would bring her home tonight can speak "Old Earth Gaelic" by stating "Love is my language"; unfortunately, he ended up saying "Love is our sandwich". He was speaking fluent Vedran (among dozens of other alien languages including [[BeePeople Than]]) earlier in English, but what he's 'saying' in sign language causes the woman to say, bemusedly, "Ponch, you mixed up some signs. You told my parents that we are going necking and that you told my parents you'd bring me home ''tomorrow''!"
* ''Series/TriggerHappyTV'' had a recurring sketch featuring a Scandinavian man asking random people on the streets very poorly worded and outrageous questions or statements, with a thick Scandinavian accent.
* In the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''
same episode "School Hard", while studying French, Buffy and even singing in them. However, this was because he had All-Systems Library downloaded into his brain. After it was extracted, he forgot everything about that day.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'':
** In "Harm's Way", Angel tries to communicate with a demon species that speaks in tongue-clicks, and ends up saying, "Be disemboweled."
** In another episode, Fred
says something to Lorne in French his native language that translates to "The cow should touch me from Thursday."[[note]]La vache devrait me toucher de jeudi.[[/note]] And she said it wrong.[[note]]She says, "La vache doit me touche de la jeudi" in an ''atrocious'' accent. This thinks means (roughly) "may your words please the gods." Lorne informs us that what they say it does, though she uses actually just said was "may you orally pleasure the indicative present instead of the conditional (so that "should" becomes "must"), conjugates the verb "toucher" (to touch) rather than using the infinitive, and the use of the definite article "la" before "jeudi" ("Thursday") is nonsensical.[[/note]]gods."



* ''UglyBetty'' has an episode where Betty (who has lived in America for her entire life) accompanies her father to visit her family in Mexico. The episode features a RunningGag where Betty tries to say something in Spanish and her father informs her that she just said something embarrassing: "You just said you ate your niece." "You just told them you're pregnant." The [[BilingualBonus funniest part]] is that what she says are actual, fairly common mistakes among new Spanish speakers.

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* ''UglyBetty'' has an Jokingly played with on the third episode where Betty (who has lived in America of ''Series/{{Benson}}''. The titular character is covering for her entire life) accompanies her father the president of a fictional country(who happens to visit her family be in Mexico. The episode features the hospital recovering from a RunningGag where Betty tries to say something in Spanish and her father informs her poisoning attempt that she just said something embarrassing: "You just said morning.) A government official who thinks he's addressing the actual President tells Benson what he thinks is the saying for "Thank you ate your niece.very much." "You Benson, not knowing a lick of the real thing, makes it up on the spot that the way the guy just told them you're pregnant." The [[BilingualBonus funniest part]] is that what she says are actual, fairly common mistakes among new Spanish speakers.phrased it, "It was an insult to my mother."



* Nicely played with on ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' when Charlie is given a pill by some scientists to enhance his intellect and is soon shown speaking Chinese. It turns out the "pill" was just a placebo and the real experiment was to see what happens when a dimwit thinks he's become a genius. When Charlie protests he knows Chinese, the Asian scientist reveals that Charlie has been simply speaking pure gibberish the entire time and he was playing along.
* The episode "[[Recap/StarTrekVoyagerS6E18AshesToAshes Ashes To Ashes]]" of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' had this: "That's very sweet of you, but you just told me the comets are tiresome."
* CunningLinguist Hoshi Sato learning Denobulan in ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' gives us "Eggplant's not a vegetable, it's a nostril.", soon followed by "I think you make a very cute washboard."
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'':
** In "Mr. Monk Falls in Love", as pictured above, Monk and Natalie are looking for Leyla Zlatavich's mother in a largely non-English-speaking neighborhood. They try to say something like, "Have you seen this woman?" in the Zemenian language, with Monk using a translator book to help out. However, when he does speak that language, the on-screen subtitles reveal that he's asking, "Have you seen the sad stick?" And he doesn't understand why no one gives him an answer.
** In the TieInNovel ''Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop'', Randy vomits in front of a Japanese tour group and says to them something that he thinks is Japanese for an apology. The detective riding with him, whose wife is Japanese, informs him that he just said, "Stop groping my breasts and prepare to die."
** In one of [[http://www.usanetwork.com/series/monk/webexclusives/blogs/teeger28.html her blog entries on USANetwork.com,]] Natalie describes herself as stumbling to use the Greek language when she was an exchange student (the entry itself is dated to coincide with "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man"), as marked here:
--->'''Natalie Teeger:''' Everyone was super warm and encouraging as I stumbled through my beginner's Greek, as if they were just flattered that I would even try to speak their language or something, but I ran into a few problems during my time there. I was constantly mixing up words, saying "kiss" when I meant "friend," little things like that. One time I went in to a pharmacy looking for baby powder and got nothing but blank stares when I asked for it at the counter. I learned later what I'd done wrong, and why the lady at the pharmacy had looked so confused; I'd asked her if she had any "baby dust." Another time I caused a minor panic at my host family's house when I took a phone message and announced that their friend Maria had called to say that she had just checked into the hospital. Yeah, she had just checked into a ''hotel''. A pretty important distinction, as I learned after almost giving poor Mr. and Mrs. Mavropoulos heart attacks.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'':
** In a bizarre example, after noting that The Janitor seems afraid of JD's Latina friend Carla, JD wonders how he can use that to his advantage. He then [[ImagineSpot daydreams]] about Carla standing up to the Janitor for him and telling him to stop picking on JD and to give JD a fruit smoothie everyday. The Janitor then asks in Spanish if JD wants strawberry or banana. Carla responds in Spanish with "Purple tree car with cheese". Janitor grabs Carla's face and rips it off to reveal JD dressed as Carla. JD immediately says "Feliz Navidad!" and runs away. The daydream ends with JD concluding he'll need to learn Spanish.
** "I have an Eiffel Tower in my pants." "What?" "GRAPEFRUIT!!" Turk says he learned a little bit of French, but most of it was intended to help him pick up girls. So the Eiffel Tower in his pants is... that, and the grapefruits are... those.
** At Carla and Turk's wedding, Carla's brother gave The Todd a pick-up line in Spanish: "Tengo herpes genetal", which means "I have genital herpes". (Though it should be written as ''genital'').[[note]]Mucho herpes. Para ''tí''.[[/note]]
** In"My Musical" Carla also told The Todd that the Spanish for "man meat" was "Pincho chiquito" (tiny penis).
** Eliott Reed (who is fluent in German) makes an intentional and dirty mistranslation to get revenge on Dr. Cox. Instead of telling his burly German speaking patient that "You have fluid on your lungs" - he says "Your wife has nice boobs.". While making a gesture that ''he'' thinks is illustrating a pair of lungs.
* Happens during a case involving two Latin dancers in ''Series/AllyMcBeal'' where John Cage, interrupting the two dancers (who constantly argue in Spanish) sputters out such phrases as 'I want to ride a little pony!' and 'I want a cookie!' to the bemusement of those present.
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'':
** This happens to Hawkeye when trying to speak French in "In Love and War".
** There's the famous instance in which Frank Burns, while holding an auction, tries to wish the Korean crowd "peace and prosperity". In response, a man asks, "You wish us all a prostitute?"
** From another episode: Hawkeye is screaming at a Korean farmer who was trying to work a rice field which had been mined, which ends up injuring his daughter.
--->'''Hawkeye''': Oo-san! That's in your own language! Oo-san! That's what you are! Oo-san!
--->'''Radar''': You just called him an umbrella.
** In "The Chosen People," Hawkeye tries to say, "Your presence is welcome in our camp," to Korean officer Sam Pak, but Pak tells him he actually said, "Your uncle has gas from eating cabbage." Hawkeye tries to say something else in Korean and Pak responds with, "I'm sorry to hear that. Your uncle with the gas is now pregnant."
** In the episode "Radar's Report", Father Mulcahy is attempting to calm a wounded North Korean. Radar's voiceover tells us he meant to say "peace and happiness" but was really saying "Your daughter's pregnancy brings much joy to our village."
** In "Dear Sigmund", Klinger claims to have been hit in the head with a chopper blade and only able to speak in Arabic. Via subtitles, he tells Col. Potter things like, "My olive has no pit and there is no yolk in my egg" and "Grandfather, may your pomegranates grow as big as the Queen's fanny".
* Parker does this in ''Series/{{Leverage}}'', while trying to rescue a group of abused Serbian children. She has a phrase book, but what she says is subtitled as:
-->'''Parker''': Don't be afraid. I will make your tomato shiny. Please come with. Men will sadden you.
** She eventually gets the kids to go with her by, after nearly giving up, meekly offering "Haagen-dazs?" Later, she reacts to getting caught by exclaiming, [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar "Oh, shiny tomato!"]]
* Long long ago, in ''Series/ILoveLucy'', Lucy was meeting her in-laws the Ricardos of Cuba for the first time. She tries to be polite with a few memorized phrases, but botches the pronunciation. So instead of saying a polite "Thank you" to her father-in-law, she calls him a "fat pig". HilarityEnsues.
* The cast of ''Series/AlloAllo'' dread the appearance of "That British idiot who thinks he can speak French". While he technically knows the right words, his pronunciation is horrific and he usually comes out with naughty-sounding sentences such as "I was pissing (passing) by your coffee (cafe)". Of course, what's interesting is that this relies on the understanding that although the dialogue is in clear (if accented) English, the characters [[TranslationConvention are actually "speaking"- and understanding- French]]. And the British policeman's dialogue is attempting to represent how a very bad French speaker would come across to them.
* In ''Series/ReGenesis'', David Sandstrom, while in China, is arrested by soldiers, and tries to tell them "I'm a Canadian citizen". Because he gets the tones wrong, it comes out as "I'm a false personality".
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'':
** In "Harm's Way", Angel tries to communicate with a demon species that speaks in tongue-clicks, and ends up saying, "Be disemboweled."
** In another episode, Fred says something to Lorne in his native language that she thinks means "may your words please the gods." Lorne informs us that what she actually just said was "may you orally pleasure the gods."

to:

* Nicely played with on ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' when Charlie is given a pill by some scientists to enhance his intellect and is soon shown speaking Chinese. It turns out ''Series/{{Bones}}''; in the "pill" was just a placebo and the real experiment was to see what happens when a dimwit thinks he's become a genius. When Charlie protests he knows Chinese, the Asian scientist reveals that Charlie has been simply speaking pure gibberish the entire time and he was playing along.
* The
Season 8 episode "[[Recap/StarTrekVoyagerS6E18AshesToAshes Ashes To Ashes]]" of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' had this: "That's very sweet of you, but you just told me "The Bod in the comets are tiresome."
* CunningLinguist Hoshi Sato learning Denobulan
Pod", Iranian-born intern Arastoo Vasiri wrote a love poem in ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' gives us "Eggplant's not Farsi [[spoiler: to Cam, who is now secretly dating Vasiri]]. Hodgins ran a vegetable, it's few lines of the poem [[BlindIdiotTranslation through a nostril.", soon followed by "I think you make a very cute washboard."
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'':
** In "Mr. Monk Falls in Love",
translation program]], getting such lines as pictured above, Monk "You're my carburetor," and Natalie are looking for Leyla Zlatavich's mother in a largely non-English-speaking neighborhood. They try "Bacon is silent. Listen to say all that we scrub!"
* In the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "School Hard", while studying French, Buffy says
something like, "Have you seen this woman?" in French that translates to "The cow should touch me from Thursday."[[note]]La vache devrait me toucher de jeudi.[[/note]] And she said it wrong.[[note]]She says, "La vache doit me touche de la jeudi" in an ''atrocious'' accent. This means (roughly) what they say it does, though she uses the Zemenian language, with Monk indicative present instead of the conditional (so that "should" becomes "must"), conjugates the verb "toucher" (to touch) rather than using a translator book to help out. However, when he does speak that language, the on-screen subtitles reveal that he's asking, "Have you seen the sad stick?" And he doesn't understand why no one gives him an answer.
** In the TieInNovel ''Mr. Monk
infinitive, and the Dirty Cop'', Randy vomits in front of a Japanese tour group and says to them something that he thinks is Japanese for an apology. The detective riding with him, whose wife is Japanese, informs him that he just said, "Stop groping my breasts and prepare to die."
** In one of [[http://www.usanetwork.com/series/monk/webexclusives/blogs/teeger28.html her blog entries on USANetwork.com,]] Natalie describes herself as stumbling to
use of the Greek language when she was an exchange student (the entry itself definite article "la" before "jeudi" ("Thursday") is dated to coincide with "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man"), as marked here:
--->'''Natalie Teeger:''' Everyone was super warm and encouraging as I stumbled through my beginner's Greek, as if they were just flattered that I would even try to speak their language or something, but I ran into a few problems during my time there. I was constantly mixing up words, saying "kiss" when I meant "friend," little things like that. One time I went in to a pharmacy looking for baby powder and got nothing but blank stares when I asked for it at the counter. I learned later what I'd done wrong, and why the lady at the pharmacy had looked so confused; I'd asked her if she had any "baby dust." Another time I caused a minor panic at my host family's house when I took a phone message and announced that their friend Maria had called to say that she had just checked into the hospital. Yeah, she had just checked into a ''hotel''. A pretty important distinction, as I learned after almost giving poor Mr. and Mrs. Mavropoulos heart attacks.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'':
** In a bizarre example, after noting that The Janitor seems afraid of JD's Latina friend Carla, JD wonders how he can use that to his advantage. He then [[ImagineSpot daydreams]] about Carla standing up to the Janitor for him and telling him to stop picking on JD and to give JD a fruit smoothie everyday. The Janitor then asks in Spanish if JD wants strawberry or banana. Carla responds in Spanish with "Purple tree car with cheese". Janitor grabs Carla's face and rips it off to reveal JD dressed as Carla. JD immediately says "Feliz Navidad!" and runs away. The daydream ends with JD concluding he'll need to learn Spanish.
** "I have an Eiffel Tower in my pants." "What?" "GRAPEFRUIT!!" Turk says he learned a little bit of French, but most of it was intended to help him pick up girls. So the Eiffel Tower in his pants is... that, and the grapefruits are... those.
** At Carla and Turk's wedding, Carla's brother gave The Todd a pick-up line in Spanish: "Tengo herpes genetal", which means "I have genital herpes". (Though it should be written as ''genital'').[[note]]Mucho herpes. Para ''tí''.
nonsensical.[[/note]]
** In"My Musical" Carla also told The Todd that the Spanish for "man meat" was "Pincho chiquito" (tiny penis).
** Eliott Reed (who
* ''Series/BurnNotice's'' Michael Westen is fluent in German) makes an intentional and dirty mistranslation to get revenge on Dr. Cox. Instead of telling his burly German speaking patient that "You have fluid on your lungs" - he says "Your wife has nice boobs.". While usually pretty good at foreign languages, making a gesture that ''he'' thinks is illustrating a pair of lungs.
* Happens during a case involving two Latin dancers in ''Series/AllyMcBeal'' where John Cage, interrupting
this example all the two dancers (who constantly argue more hilarious. In one episode he steals some [[MacGuffin documents]] from the Pakistani consulate and leaves a written message in Spanish) sputters out such phrases as 'I want Urdu for the chief of security to ride meet him at a restaurant. The chief comes into the restaurant with the message and says this:
--> '''Waseem:''' ''(reading the message)'' I will be wearing a white shirt and-- See this word here? It's a kind of spicy goat cheese.\\
'''Michael:''' My Urdu's
a little pony!' and 'I want a cookie!' to the bemusement of those present.
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'':
** This happens to Hawkeye when trying to speak French in "In Love and War".
** There's the famous instance in which Frank Burns, while holding an auction, tries to wish the Korean crowd "peace and prosperity". In response, a man asks, "You wish us all a prostitute?"
** From another episode: Hawkeye is screaming at a Korean farmer who
rusty. I was trying to work say "black pants".\\
'''Waseem:''' Well, at least you got the name of the restaurant right.
* In one episode of
a rice field which short-lived NBC sitcom ''Series/CafeAmericain'', set in France, the main character (played by Valerie Bertenelli) was finally given an ultimatum to learn the native language. Her initial attempts were a little less than stellar: an attempt to congratulate a newly engaged couple had been mined, which ends up injuring his daughter.
--->'''Hawkeye''': Oo-san! That's in your own language! Oo-san! That's what you are! Oo-san!
--->'''Radar''': You just called him
her unintentionally claiming to be having an umbrella.
** In "The Chosen People," Hawkeye tries to say, "Your presence is welcome in our camp," to Korean officer Sam Pak, but Pak tells him he actually said, "Your uncle has gas from eating cabbage." Hawkeye tries to say something else in Korean and Pak responds with, "I'm sorry to hear that. Your uncle
affair with the gas is now pregnant."
** In the episode "Radar's Report", Father Mulcahy is attempting to calm a wounded North Korean. Radar's voiceover tells us he meant to say "peace
man; and happiness" but was really saying "Your daughter's pregnancy brings much joy one attempt to our village."
** In "Dear Sigmund", Klinger claims to have been hit
converse with her instructor/UST interest resulted in the head with a chopper blade and only able to speak in Arabic. Via subtitles, he tells Col. Potter things like, "My olive has no pit and there is no yolk in my egg" and "Grandfather, may your pomegranates grow as big as the Queen's fanny".
* Parker does this in ''Series/{{Leverage}}'', while trying to rescue a group of abused Serbian children. She has a
memorable phrase book, but what she says is subtitled as:
-->'''Parker''':
"Cheese in my pants makes me happy. Don't be afraid. I will make your tomato shiny. Please come with. Men will sadden you.
** She eventually gets
you agree?"
* ''Series/{{CHiPs}}'' had an American Sign Language variant: Ponch was telling
the kids to go with her by, after nearly giving up, meekly offering "Haagen-dazs?" Later, she reacts to getting caught by exclaiming, [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar "Oh, shiny tomato!"]]
* Long long ago, in ''Series/ILoveLucy'', Lucy was meeting her in-laws the Ricardos
deaf parents of Cuba for the first time. She tries to be polite with a few memorized phrases, but botches the pronunciation. So instead of saying a polite "Thank you" to her father-in-law, she calls him a "fat pig". HilarityEnsues.
* The cast of ''Series/AlloAllo'' dread the appearance of "That British idiot who thinks he can speak French". While he technically knows the right words, his pronunciation is horrific and he usually comes out with naughty-sounding sentences such as "I was pissing (passing) by your coffee (cafe)". Of course, what's interesting is
woman that this relies on the understanding that although the dialogue is he would bring her home tonight in clear (if accented) English, the characters [[TranslationConvention are actually "speaking"- and understanding- French]]. And the British policeman's dialogue is attempting to represent how a very bad French speaker would come across to them.
* In ''Series/ReGenesis'', David Sandstrom, while
but what he's 'saying' in China, is arrested by soldiers, and tries to tell them "I'm a Canadian citizen". Because he gets the tones wrong, it comes out as "I'm a false personality".
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'':
** In "Harm's Way", Angel tries to communicate with a demon species that speaks in tongue-clicks, and ends up saying, "Be disemboweled."
** In another episode, Fred says something to Lorne in his native
sign language causes the woman to say, bemusedly, "Ponch, you mixed up some signs. You told my parents that she thinks means "may your words please the gods." Lorne informs us we are going necking and that what she actually just said was "may you orally pleasure the gods."told my parents you'd bring me home ''tomorrow''!"



* In one episode of a short-lived NBC sitcom ''Series/CafeAmericain'', set in France, the main character (played by Valerie Bertenelli) was finally given an ultimatum to learn the native language. Her initial attempts were a little less than stellar: an attempt to congratulate a newly engaged couple had her unintentionally claiming to be having an affair with the man; and one attempt to converse with her instructor/UST interest resulted in the memorable phrase "Cheese in my pants makes me happy. Don't you agree?"
* ''TopGear'':
** Presenter [[NoSenseOfDirection James May]] is given a Romanian phrasebook which has been purposefully mistranslated. When May inevitably gets lost, his attempts to ask directions only confuse the locals.
-->'''May:''' These boxes are not all the same size!
** Hammond, when speaking French, says things like 'le grand champignon', when he means the grand champion. 'Le grand champignon' is, literally 'the big mushroom'. It gets worse when he says "il y a beaucoup de lapins dans ma pantalon" which means "there are a lot of rabbits in my trousers."
** Clarkson attempted to learn Ukrainian on a long trip across Ukraine. His breakfast order for the three of them results in a head of raw cabbage. It is unknown whether or not he was being trolled, given that he seemed to genuinely be trying and some of the things he said just not translating culturally. Impressively, by the end, he was able to say a few comprehensible things in Ukrainian, only for the hotel clerk to respond in English. "Yes."
** In one instance, he asked a roadside merchant "Where are your legs?" No idea what he was trying to say. Immediately afterwards, he said "I'll eat your souvenirs." This one is actually somewhat understandable, because there is the possibility that he might have been told that souvenirs could be a generic term for shop goods, or at least that would be the only word he'd have. And then the English can say things like "I'll eat" to indicate that they would like to order a dish.
* Not an intentional hovercrafting, but in ''Series/TheWonderYears'', Kevin Arnold is sitting in French class daydreaming about a girl he has a crush on. In the fantasy, his love interest spouts off a whole bunch of eloquent, romantic French to Kevin. To which he can only reply 'Do you want some butter?'
* ''Series/RedDwarf'':
** Arnold Rimmer's Esperanto: "Could you send for the hall porter, there appears to be a frog in my bidet."
** In the episode "Kryten," Rimmer attempts to speak Esperanto to Kryten and act aloof. He does not understand when Kryten replies, in Esperanto, "You speak Esperanto, Captain Rimmer?"
* Jokingly played with on the third episode of ''Series/{{Benson}}''. The titular character is covering for the president of a fictional country(who happens to be in the hospital recovering from a poisoning attempt that morning.) A government official who thinks he's addressing the actual President tells Benson what he thinks is the saying for "Thank you very much." Benson, not knowing a lick of the real thing, makes it up on the spot that the way the guy just phrased it, "It was an insult to my mother."
* ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'': Scott Thompson's idiot Canadian character walks into a shop where Dave Foley's shopkeep character speaks to him in perfect English. The catch is, he doesn't speak English and memorized those words phonetically, so when Scott asks a question, he can't answer, but continues reciting more unrelated English, which gets Scott angry. Eventually, the speech the shopkeep has memorized finishes with insults and the phrase, "Would you like to fight me?"
* Occurs on ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' when Mary gives a talk to foreign visitors to the university. Since her editor decided it was easier to just pretend Mary's speech was perfect so she could go drinking, Mary ends up inviting the visitors to her "womanly place," and tells them that "there's room for everyone."

to:

* In one episode of a short-lived NBC sitcom ''Series/CafeAmericain'', set in France, the main character (played by Valerie Bertenelli) was finally given an ultimatum to learn the native language. Her initial attempts were a little less than stellar: an attempt to congratulate a newly engaged couple had her unintentionally claiming to be having an affair with the man; and one attempt to converse with her instructor/UST interest resulted in the memorable phrase "Cheese in my pants makes me happy. Don't you agree?"
* ''TopGear'':
** Presenter [[NoSenseOfDirection James May]]
''Series/CoronationStreet'' Ken Barlow is given a Romanian phrasebook which has been purposefully mistranslated. When May inevitably gets lost, his attempts to ask directions only confuse the locals.
-->'''May:''' These boxes are not all the same size!
** Hammond, when speaking French, says things like 'le grand champignon', when he means the grand champion. 'Le grand champignon' is, literally 'the big mushroom'. It gets worse when he says "il y a beaucoup de lapins dans ma pantalon" which means "there are a lot of rabbits in my trousers."
** Clarkson attempted to learn Ukrainian on a long trip across Ukraine. His breakfast order for the three of them results in a head of raw cabbage. It is unknown whether or not he was being trolled, given that he seemed to genuinely be trying and some of the things he said just not translating culturally. Impressively, by the end, he was able to say a few comprehensible things in Ukrainian, only for the hotel clerk to respond in English. "Yes."
** In one instance, he asked a roadside merchant "Where are your legs?" No idea what he was
trying to say. Immediately afterwards, he said "I'll eat your souvenirs." This one is actually somewhat understandable, because there is teach the possibility dim Raquel to speak French. She tells him that he might have she already knows how to introduce herself, having been told that souvenirs could be taught by a generic term for shop goods, or at least that would be the only word he'd have. And then the English can say things like "I'll eat" to indicate that they would former boyfriend, and continues: ''"Bonjour, Ken. Je m'appelle Raquel. Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?"'' Which means of course "Hello, Ken. My name is Raquel. Would you like to order a dish.
* Not an intentional hovercrafting, but in ''Series/TheWonderYears'', Kevin Arnold is sitting in
go to bed with me this evening?" Interestingly, no subtitles were displayed on screen, meaning that any viewers who didn't speak French class daydreaming about a girl he has a crush on. In (or recognize the fantasy, phrase) would not have understood why Ken got that pained expression on his love interest spouts off a whole bunch of eloquent, romantic French to Kevin. To which he can only reply 'Do you want some butter?'
face...
* ''Series/RedDwarf'':
** Arnold Rimmer's Esperanto: "Could you send for the hall porter, there appears to be a frog
On ''Series/{{Coupling}}'', in my bidet."
** In
the episode "Kryten," Rimmer attempts to speak Esperanto to Kryten and act aloof. He does not understand when Kryten replies, in Esperanto, "You speak Esperanto, Captain Rimmer?"
* Jokingly
"The Girl with Two Breasts", a scene where Jeff misunderstands Hebrew is played twice - the second time with on the third Hebrew in English, and Jeff's original English as incomprehensible gibberish. This reveals that Jeff has - in place of the girl's name - been repeating the Hebrew word for "breasts" ("Shadayam").
* Done twice on ''DropTheDeadDonkey'', once with Russian (Henry introduces himself as a pregnant cabbage to a Soviet official on a factfinding exchange) and once with Japanese (Damien tells a group of Japanese businessmen to go and have sex with a porcupine).
* In an
episode of ''Series/{{Benson}}''. The titular character is covering for the president of ''Series/{{ER}}'', Pratt thought he was encouraging a fictional country(who happens pregnant woman to push. Instead he was calling her a whore. Her husband understandably was enraged and she was horrified.
** A rare serious example occurs when a Spanish woman thought she had to take 11 pills. [[spoiler: It was meant
to be taken one time as in once. But the hospital recovering woman thought she needs to take 11 pills because the Spanish word for eleven is spelled the same for "once". Sadly, she died from a poisoning attempt that morning.) A government official who thinks he's addressing the actual President tells Benson what he thinks is the saying for "Thank you very much." Benson, not knowing a lick of the real thing, makes it up on the spot that the way the guy just phrased it, "It was an insult to my mother."
* ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'': Scott Thompson's idiot Canadian character walks into a shop where Dave Foley's shopkeep character speaks to him in perfect English. The catch is, he doesn't speak English and memorized those words phonetically, so when Scott asks a question, he can't answer, but continues reciting more unrelated English, which gets Scott angry. Eventually, the speech the shopkeep has memorized finishes with insults and the phrase, "Would you like to fight me?"
* Occurs on ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' when Mary gives a talk to foreign visitors to the university. Since her editor decided it was easier to just pretend Mary's speech was perfect so she could go drinking, Mary ends up inviting the visitors to her "womanly place," and tells them that "there's room for everyone."
overdose.]]



* Murdock may be ''Series/TheATeam'''s resident {{Omniglot}}, but his Italian isn't too great. Although the English speaking mooks around him don't know any better and it helps his disguise, it culminates in him asking two men to have his baby.
* ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'': When Harper tries to say an old Vedran proverb ("A wise man knows his limitations") to Rev but ends up saying, "A fast swimmer keeps no pets." Since Vedran is a made-up language, there is, understandably, no way to verify that. He also tries to brag to Beka that he can speak "Old Earth Gaelic" by stating "Love is my language"; unfortunately, he ended up saying "Love is our sandwich". He was speaking fluent Vedran (among dozens of other alien languages including [[BeePeople Than]]) earlier in the same episode and even singing in them. However, this was because he had All-Systems Library downloaded into his brain. After it was extracted, he forgot everything about that day.

to:

* Murdock may be ''Series/TheATeam'''s resident {{Omniglot}}, but his Italian isn't too great. Although the English speaking mooks around him don't know any better and it helps his disguise, it culminates in him asking two men to have his baby.
* ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'': When Harper tries to say an old Vedran proverb ("A wise man knows his limitations") to Rev but ends up saying, "A fast swimmer keeps no pets." Since Vedran is a made-up language, there is, understandably, no way to verify that. He also tries to brag to Beka that he can speak "Old Earth Gaelic" by stating "Love is my language"; unfortunately, he ended up saying "Love is our sandwich". He was speaking fluent Vedran (among dozens of other alien languages including [[BeePeople Than]]) earlier in the same
The ''Series/ICarly'' episode and even singing in them. However, this was "iGo to Japan" had a Japanese speaker saying "Hello, I have a bladder infection" to the kids because he had All-Systems Library downloaded into his brain. After it was extracted, he forgot everything about using a Japanese-English English-Japanese dictionary. Subverted in that day.he was actually trying to communicate his bladder infection.
*''InLivingColor'' does their own take [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Ggi4Ru5Lg here.]] An unassuming American ambassador is assigned to work in a third world country. Her interpreter is a trickster of a man and not much of a diplomat. Whoever taught her the sentence to say played a sick joke on her as well. Strange how she can be '''this''' naive, though.
* Long long ago, in ''Series/ILoveLucy'', Lucy was meeting her in-laws the Ricardos of Cuba for the first time. She tries to be polite with a few memorized phrases, but botches the pronunciation. So instead of saying a polite "Thank you" to her father-in-law, she calls him a "fat pig". HilarityEnsues.
* On an episode of ''Series/TheITCrowd'', one of Jen's lies was being fluent in Italian. Subtitles of her mumblings showed that she'd be saying things like "I like the smell of my cat" and "spiders", but this wasn't a problem because Moss got her an instant translation program on her laptop, allowing her to cover her lies and pass off as fluent over conference calls, even impressing an Italian business mogul (she was ''very'' good at ''pretending'', if not at actually understanding). Things go south quickly when Douglas forbids her to bring her laptop to the first face to face meeting with the Italian man and her improvised Italian is so awful that no subtitles are even needed to see that she's just speaking English words with a pseudo-Italian tone and intonation. Including words like "Vienetta", "Fiat Punto", and "Super Mario" as Italian words.
* Nicely played with on ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' when Charlie is given a pill by some scientists to enhance his intellect and is soon shown speaking Chinese. It turns out the "pill" was just a placebo and the real experiment was to see what happens when a dimwit thinks he's become a genius. When Charlie protests he knows Chinese, the Asian scientist reveals that Charlie has been simply speaking pure gibberish the entire time and he was playing along.



* One Detour in Season 14 of ''Series/TheAmazingRace'' required teams to listen to customers ordering food in Chinese, then repeat the orders to a chef. It was easy for Tammy and Victor since they spoke the language, but Kisha and Jen had a little difficulty: instead of ordering "New Taste Beef" they ordered "Oil Comes Again to Please the Mouth," and "Golden Pork Spare Ribs" got lost in translation as "Light Competition Red Dishes I've Played Before."
* In an episode of ''Series/{{ER}}'', Pratt thought he was encouraging a pregnant woman to push. Instead he was calling her a whore. Her husband understandably was enraged and she was horrified.
** A rare serious example occurs when a Spanish woman thought she had to take 11 pills. [[spoiler: It was meant to be taken one time as in once. But the woman thought she needs to take 11 pills because the Spanish word for eleven is spelled the same for "once". Sadly, she died from the overdose.]]
* In ''Series/CoronationStreet'' Ken Barlow is trying to teach the dim Raquel to speak French. She tells him that she already knows how to introduce herself, having been taught by a former boyfriend, and continues: ''"Bonjour, Ken. Je m'appelle Raquel. Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?"'' Which means of course "Hello, Ken. My name is Raquel. Would you like to go to bed with me this evening?" Interestingly, no subtitles were displayed on screen, meaning that any viewers who didn't speak French (or recognize the phrase) would not have understood why Ken got that pained expression on his face...
* An episode of ''Series/WelcomeBackKotter'' reveals that Arnold Horshack's last name translates into "the cattle are dying."
* On ''Series/SpinCity'', Paul claims to be able speak fluent Portuguese. His attempt to bid farewell to the mayor is translated as "My monkey needs a haircut".
* Done twice on ''DropTheDeadDonkey'', once with Russian (Henry introduces himself as a pregnant cabbage to a Soviet official on a factfinding exchange) and once with Japanese (Damien tells a group of Japanese businessmen to go and have sex with a porcupine).



* On ''Series/NaturallySadie'', Magaret runs a Greek newspaper story about Rain through an internet translator. The page she gets back is enitirely My Hovercraft Is Full Of Eels.
* In the first ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' sketch, a professor (played by Michael O'Donoghue) teaches a European immigrant (played by John Belushi) several useful English phrases, including "I would like to feed your fingertips to the wolverines."
* {{Nickelodeon}}'s sketch comedy show ''Series/AllThat'' had the recurring skit "Everyday French with Pierre Escargot" where Kenan Thompson as Pierre Escargot taught the viewer how to say grammatically correct but nonsensical French phrases:
--> "Your wallpaper is making my eyebrows explode!"
* ''Series/BurnNotice's'' Michael Westen is usually pretty good at foreign languages, making this example all the more hilarious. In one episode he steals some [[MacGuffin documents]] from the Pakistani consulate and leaves a written message in Urdu for the chief of security to meet him at a restaurant. The chief comes into the restaurant with the message and says this:
--> '''Waseem:''' ''(reading the message)'' I will be wearing a white shirt and-- See this word here? It's a kind of spicy goat cheese.\\
'''Michael:''' My Urdu's a little rusty. I was trying to say "black pants".\\
'''Waseem:''' Well, at least you got the name of the restaurant right.
* On ''Series/{{Coupling}}'', in the episode "The Girl with Two Breasts", a scene where Jeff misunderstands Hebrew is played twice - the second time with the Hebrew in English, and Jeff's original English as incomprehensible gibberish. This reveals that Jeff has - in place of the girl's name - been repeating the Hebrew word for "breasts" ("Shadayam").
* In an episode of ''Series/SuddenlySusan'', Vicky demands that Luis teach her just enough Spanish to pick up Latin men. He teaches her to say that she would like to share her [=STDs=] and that she hasn't bathed in years.

to:

* On ''Series/NaturallySadie'', Magaret runs ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'': Scott Thompson's idiot Canadian character walks into a Greek newspaper story about Rain through an internet translator. shop where Dave Foley's shopkeep character speaks to him in perfect English. The page she gets back is enitirely My Hovercraft Is Full Of Eels.
* In the first ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' sketch, a professor (played by Michael O'Donoghue) teaches a European immigrant (played by John Belushi) several useful
catch is, he doesn't speak English phrases, including "I would like to feed your fingertips to the wolverines."
* {{Nickelodeon}}'s sketch comedy show ''Series/AllThat'' had the recurring skit "Everyday French with Pierre Escargot" where Kenan Thompson as Pierre Escargot taught the viewer how to say grammatically correct
and memorized those words phonetically, so when Scott asks a question, he can't answer, but nonsensical French phrases:
--> "Your wallpaper is making my eyebrows explode!"
* ''Series/BurnNotice's'' Michael Westen is usually pretty good at foreign languages, making this example all the
continues reciting more hilarious. In one episode he steals some [[MacGuffin documents]] from the Pakistani consulate and leaves a written message in Urdu for the chief of security to meet him at a restaurant. The chief comes into the restaurant with the message and says this:
--> '''Waseem:''' ''(reading the message)'' I will be wearing a white shirt and-- See this word here? It's a kind of spicy goat cheese.\\
'''Michael:''' My Urdu's a little rusty. I was trying to say "black pants".\\
'''Waseem:''' Well, at least you got the name of the restaurant right.
* On ''Series/{{Coupling}}'', in the episode "The Girl with Two Breasts", a scene where Jeff misunderstands Hebrew is played twice - the second time with the Hebrew in
unrelated English, which gets Scott angry. Eventually, the speech the shopkeep has memorized finishes with insults and Jeff's original English as incomprehensible gibberish. This reveals that Jeff has - in place of the girl's name - been repeating the Hebrew word for "breasts" ("Shadayam").
* In an episode of ''Series/SuddenlySusan'', Vicky demands that Luis teach her just enough Spanish to pick up Latin men. He teaches her to say that she would
phrase, "Would you like to share her [=STDs=] and that she hasn't bathed in years.fight me?"



* On an episode of ''Series/TheITCrowd'', one of Jen's lies was being fluent in Italian. Subtitles of her mumblings showed that she'd be saying things like "I like the smell of my cat" and "spiders", but this wasn't a problem because Moss got her an instant translation program on her laptop, allowing her to cover her lies and pass off as fluent over conference calls, even impressing an Italian business mogul (she was ''very'' good at ''pretending'', if not at actually understanding). Things go south quickly when Douglas forbids her to bring her laptop to the first face to face meeting with the Italian man and her improvised Italian is so awful that no subtitles are even needed to see that she's just speaking English words with a pseudo-Italian tone and intonation. Including words like "Vienetta", "Fiat Punto", and "Super Mario" as Italian words.

to:

* On Parker does this in ''Series/{{Leverage}}'', while trying to rescue a group of abused Serbian children. She has a phrase book, but what she says is subtitled as:
-->'''Parker''': Don't be afraid. I will make your tomato shiny. Please come with. Men will sadden you.
** She eventually gets the kids to go with her by, after nearly giving up, meekly offering "Haagen-dazs?" Later, she reacts to getting caught by exclaiming, [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar "Oh, shiny tomato!"]]
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'':
** This happens to Hawkeye when trying to speak French in "In Love and War".
** There's the famous instance in which Frank Burns, while holding
an auction, tries to wish the Korean crowd "peace and prosperity". In response, a man asks, "You wish us all a prostitute?"
** From another episode: Hawkeye is screaming at a Korean farmer who was trying to work a rice field which had been mined, which ends up injuring his daughter.
--->'''Hawkeye''': Oo-san! That's in your own language! Oo-san! That's what you are! Oo-san!
--->'''Radar''': You just called him an umbrella.
** In "The Chosen People," Hawkeye tries to say, "Your presence is welcome in our camp," to Korean officer Sam Pak, but Pak tells him he actually said, "Your uncle has gas from eating cabbage." Hawkeye tries to say something else in Korean and Pak responds with, "I'm sorry to hear that. Your uncle with the gas is now pregnant."
** In the
episode "Radar's Report", Father Mulcahy is attempting to calm a wounded North Korean. Radar's voiceover tells us he meant to say "peace and happiness" but was really saying "Your daughter's pregnancy brings much joy to our village."
** In "Dear Sigmund", Klinger claims to have been hit in the head with a chopper blade and only able to speak in Arabic. Via subtitles, he tells Col. Potter things like, "My olive has no pit and there is no yolk in my egg" and "Grandfather, may your pomegranates grow as big as the Queen's fanny".
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'':
** In "Mr. Monk Falls in Love", as pictured above, Monk and Natalie are looking for Leyla Zlatavich's mother in a largely non-English-speaking neighborhood. They try to say something like, "Have you seen this woman?" in the Zemenian language, with Monk using a translator book to help out. However, when he does speak that language, the on-screen subtitles reveal that he's asking, "Have you seen the sad stick?" And he doesn't understand why no one gives him an answer.
** In the TieInNovel ''Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop'', Randy vomits in front
of ''Series/TheITCrowd'', a Japanese tour group and says to them something that he thinks is Japanese for an apology. The detective riding with him, whose wife is Japanese, informs him that he just said, "Stop groping my breasts and prepare to die."
** In
one of Jen's lies [[http://www.usanetwork.com/series/monk/webexclusives/blogs/teeger28.html her blog entries on USANetwork.com,]] Natalie describes herself as stumbling to use the Greek language when she was being fluent in Italian. Subtitles of her mumblings showed an exchange student (the entry itself is dated to coincide with "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man"), as marked here:
--->'''Natalie Teeger:''' Everyone was super warm and encouraging as I stumbled through my beginner's Greek, as if they were just flattered
that she'd be I would even try to speak their language or something, but I ran into a few problems during my time there. I was constantly mixing up words, saying "kiss" when I meant "friend," little things like that. One time I went in to a pharmacy looking for baby powder and got nothing but blank stares when I asked for it at the counter. I learned later what I'd done wrong, and why the lady at the pharmacy had looked so confused; I'd asked her if she had any "baby dust." Another time I caused a minor panic at my host family's house when I took a phone message and announced that their friend Maria had called to say that she had just checked into the hospital. Yeah, she had just checked into a ''hotel''. A pretty important distinction, as I learned after almost giving poor Mr. and Mrs. Mavropoulos heart attacks.
* The ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' is the TropeNamer: the confusing and increasingly offensive sentences come from a maliciously written phrasebook. Examples include
"I will not buy this record, it is scratched" written instead of "I'd like the smell to buy a pack of my cat" cigarettes" and "spiders", but this wasn't "My hovercraft is full of eels" for "I'd also like a problem because Moss got her box of matches" -- what a scheme!
* On ''Series/NaturallySadie'', Magaret runs a Greek newspaper story about Rain through
an instant translation program on her laptop, allowing her internet translator. The page she gets back is enitirely My Hovercraft Is Full Of Eels.
* ''NewTricks'': Gerry tries
to cover her lies and pass off as fluent over conference calls, even impressing an Italian business mogul (she was ''very'' good at ''pretending'', if not at actually understanding). Things go south quickly when Douglas forbids her to bring her laptop to the first face to face meeting impress a British Sign Language interpreter with the Italian man and her improvised Italian is Sign Language he learned in childhood so awful that no subtitles are even needed to see that she's just speaking English words he could communicate with a pseudo-Italian tone his deaf cousin. It doesn't work and intonation. Including words like "Vienetta", "Fiat Punto", and "Super Mario" he gets "Can I dig up my Elephant with you?" as Italian words.a result.



* ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'':
** Cody practises his Japanese by greeting a singer from Japan. It comes out as "My bellybutton grows watermelons."
** Cody tries it with a group of Japanese guests, this time saying "I have a hornet's nest in my pants.", which causes them to flee the building.
* ''NewTricks'': Gerry tries to impress a British Sign Language interpreter with the Sign Language he learned in childhood so he could communicate with his deaf cousin. It doesn't work and he gets "Can I dig up my Elephant with you?" as a result.
* ''Series/{{Bones}}''; in the Season 8 episode "The Bod in the Pod", Iranian-born intern Arastoo Vasiri wrote a love poem in Farsi [[spoiler: to Cam, who is now secretly dating Vasiri]]. Hodgins ran a few lines of the poem [[BlindIdiotTranslation through a translation program]], getting such lines as "You're my carburetor," and "Bacon is silent. Listen to all that we scrub!"

to:

* ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'':
** Cody practises his Japanese by greeting a singer
On ''Series/{{QI}}'' in series F's episode about the future, Stephen Fry uses this phrase as an example sentence ''in [[UsefulNotes/EsperantoTheUniversalLanguage Esperanto]]''. After some hints, Rob Brydon goes from Japan. It comes out as "My bellybutton grows watermelons.''My cousin is a meerkat of strange angles'' to the words for 'eels' and 'hovercraft'. When he puts the sentence together, he still can't believe it:
-->'''Stephen''': Let's see if you can guess this one: "Mia kusenventurilo estas plena de angiloj.
"
** Cody tries it -->'''Rob''': My cousin is a meerkat of strange angles.
-->''[...]''
-->'''Stephen''': Yes, 'my hovercraft is full of eels.'
-->'''Rob''': ...Seriously?
-->'''Stephen''': Yes.
-->'''Rob''': (laughing) I thought you were being cross
with a group of Japanese guests, this time me there, you were saying that just to move on!
* ''Series/RedDwarf'':
** Arnold Rimmer's Esperanto: "Could you send for the hall porter, there appears to be a frog in my bidet."
** In the episode "Kryten," Rimmer attempts to speak Esperanto to Kryten and act aloof. He does not understand when Kryten replies, in Esperanto, "You speak Esperanto, Captain Rimmer?"
* In ''Series/ReGenesis'', David Sandstrom, while in China, is arrested by soldiers, and tries to tell them "I'm a Canadian citizen". Because he gets the tones wrong, it comes out as "I'm a false personality".
* In the first ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' sketch, a professor (played by Michael O'Donoghue) teaches a European immigrant (played by John Belushi) several useful English phrases, including "I would like to feed your fingertips to the wolverines."
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'':
** In a bizarre example, after noting that The Janitor seems afraid of JD's Latina friend Carla, JD wonders how he can use that to his advantage. He then [[ImagineSpot daydreams]] about Carla standing up to the Janitor for him and telling him to stop picking on JD and to give JD a fruit smoothie everyday. The Janitor then asks in Spanish if JD wants strawberry or banana. Carla responds in Spanish with "Purple tree car with cheese". Janitor grabs Carla's face and rips it off to reveal JD dressed as Carla. JD immediately says "Feliz Navidad!" and runs away. The daydream ends with JD concluding he'll need to learn Spanish.
**
"I have a hornet's nest an Eiffel Tower in my pants.", which causes them to flee the building.
* ''NewTricks'': Gerry tries to impress a British Sign Language interpreter with the Sign Language
" "What?" "GRAPEFRUIT!!" Turk says he learned a little bit of French, but most of it was intended to help him pick up girls. So the Eiffel Tower in childhood so his pants is... that, and the grapefruits are... those.
** At Carla and Turk's wedding, Carla's brother gave The Todd a pick-up line in Spanish: "Tengo herpes genetal", which means "I have genital herpes". (Though it should be written as ''genital'').[[note]]Mucho herpes. Para ''tí''.[[/note]]
** In"My Musical" Carla also told The Todd that the Spanish for "man meat" was "Pincho chiquito" (tiny penis).
** Eliott Reed (who is fluent in German) makes an intentional and dirty mistranslation to get revenge on Dr. Cox. Instead of telling his burly German speaking patient that "You have fluid on your lungs" -
he could says "Your wife has nice boobs.". While making a gesture that ''he'' thinks is illustrating a pair of lungs.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'': In ''Recap/SherlockSpecialTheAbominableBride'', Watson attempts to
communicate with Wilder, the concierge of The Diogenes Club, in sign language. After first telling Wilder that he is very ugly (instead of kind) he then tells him that he is glad that Wilder liked his deaf cousin. It doesn't work and he gets "Can I dig up my Elephant with you?" as a result.
potato (instead of story).
* ''Series/{{Bones}}''; in On ''Series/SpinCity'', Paul claims to be able speak fluent Portuguese. His attempt to bid farewell to the Season 8 mayor is translated as "My monkey needs a haircut".
* The
episode "The Bod in "[[Recap/StarTrekVoyagerS6E18AshesToAshes Ashes To Ashes]]" of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' had this: "That's very sweet of you, but you just told me the Pod", Iranian-born intern Arastoo Vasiri wrote a love poem comets are tiresome."
* CunningLinguist Hoshi Sato learning Denobulan
in Farsi [[spoiler: to Cam, who is now secretly dating Vasiri]]. Hodgins ran ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' gives us "Eggplant's not a few lines of the poem [[BlindIdiotTranslation through vegetable, it's a translation program]], getting such lines as "You're my carburetor," and "Bacon is silent. Listen to all that we scrub!"nostril.", soon followed by "I think you make a very cute washboard."



* In an episode of ''Series/SuddenlySusan'', Vicky demands that Luis teach her just enough Spanish to pick up Latin men. He teaches her to say that she would like to share her [=STDs=] and that she hasn't bathed in years.
* An episode of ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'' involved a group of Japanese tourists coming to the Tipton hotel. Cody, who's learning Japanese, tries to ask them how the flight went. Instead he says "[[spoiler: I have a hornet's nest in my pants.]]" The tourists all run away, as Cody shrugs it off saying, "I guess it was bouncy."
* ''TopGear'':
** Presenter [[NoSenseOfDirection James May]] is given a Romanian phrasebook which has been purposefully mistranslated. When May inevitably gets lost, his attempts to ask directions only confuse the locals.
-->'''May:''' These boxes are not all the same size!
** Hammond, when speaking French, says things like 'le grand champignon', when he means the grand champion. 'Le grand champignon' is, literally 'the big mushroom'. It gets worse when he says "il y a beaucoup de lapins dans ma pantalon" which means "there are a lot of rabbits in my trousers."
** Clarkson attempted to learn Ukrainian on a long trip across Ukraine. His breakfast order for the three of them results in a head of raw cabbage. It is unknown whether or not he was being trolled, given that he seemed to genuinely be trying and some of the things he said just not translating culturally. Impressively, by the end, he was able to say a few comprehensible things in Ukrainian, only for the hotel clerk to respond in English. "Yes."
** In one instance, he asked a roadside merchant "Where are your legs?" No idea what he was trying to say. Immediately afterwards, he said "I'll eat your souvenirs." This one is actually somewhat understandable, because there is the possibility that he might have been told that souvenirs could be a generic term for shop goods, or at least that would be the only word he'd have. And then the English can say things like "I'll eat" to indicate that they would like to order a dish.
* ''Series/TriggerHappyTV'' had a recurring sketch featuring a Scandinavian man asking random people on the streets very poorly worded and outrageous questions or statements, with a thick Scandinavian accent.
* ''UglyBetty'' has an episode where Betty (who has lived in America for her entire life) accompanies her father to visit her family in Mexico. The episode features a RunningGag where Betty tries to say something in Spanish and her father informs her that she just said something embarrassing: "You just said you ate your niece." "You just told them you're pregnant." The [[BilingualBonus funniest part]] is that what she says are actual, fairly common mistakes among new Spanish speakers.
* An episode of ''Series/WelcomeBackKotter'' reveals that Arnold Horshack's last name translates into "the cattle are dying."
* Not an intentional hovercrafting, but in ''Series/TheWonderYears'', Kevin Arnold is sitting in French class daydreaming about a girl he has a crush on. In the fantasy, his love interest spouts off a whole bunch of eloquent, romantic French to Kevin. To which he can only reply 'Do you want some butter?'




* ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'':
** Cody practises his Japanese by greeting a singer from Japan. It comes out as "My bellybutton grows watermelons."
** Cody tries it with a group of Japanese guests, this time saying "I have a hornet's nest in my pants.", which causes them to flee the building.





* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'': In ''Recap/SherlockSpecialTheAbominableBride'', Watson attempts to communicate with Wilder, the concierge of The Diogenes Club, in sign language. After first telling Wilder that he is very ugly (instead of kind) he then tells him that he is glad that Wilder liked his potato (instead of story).

to:

* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'': In ''Recap/SherlockSpecialTheAbominableBride'', Watson attempts to communicate with Wilder, the concierge of The Diogenes Club, in sign language. After first telling Wilder that he is very ugly (instead of kind) he then tells him that he is glad that Wilder liked his potato (instead of story).
10th Jul '16 3:09:07 AM ClatoLawa
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* In ''ComicBook/TheSimpsons'' comic issue where Bart, Milhouse and Krusty go to Paris, Milhouse tries to talk to Frenchman, calling upon the lessons from 'Troy [=McClure=]'s Learn French Toot Sweet While You Sleep' he listened to on the plane before dozing off. Bart, who has [[ContinuityNod experience]] with the French language, manages to clear things up.

to:

* In ''ComicBook/TheSimpsons'' comic issue where Bart, Milhouse and Krusty go to Paris, Milhouse tries to talk to Frenchman, a man running a ticket office at a theatre, calling upon the lessons from 'Troy [=McClure=]'s Learn French Toot Sweet While You Sleep' he listened to on the plane before dozing off. Bart, who has [[ContinuityNod experience]] with the French language, manages to clear things up.up (as it happens, the man speaks English).



-->'''Frenchman:''' Would I like a cup of squirrels?

to:

-->'''Frenchman:''' Would (''Would I like a cup of squirrels?squirrels?'')
8th Jul '16 9:30:24 PM ImperialMajestyXO
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** In another case from their sister site, [[https://notalwayslearning.com/sorry-i-dont-speak-a-hole/39935 a french teacher tries to stump a student by speaking Russian]] only for the student to tell him he said he was a German warship.

to:

** In another case from their sister site, [[https://notalwayslearning.com/sorry-i-dont-speak-a-hole/39935 a french French teacher tries to stump a student by speaking Russian]] only for the student to tell him he said he was a German warship.
8th Jul '16 9:28:49 PM ImperialMajestyXO
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** In another case from their sister site, [[https://notalwayslearning.com/sorry-i-dont-speak-a-hole/39935 a french teacher tries to stump a student by speaking Russian]] only for the student to tell him he said he was a german warship.

to:

** In another case from their sister site, [[https://notalwayslearning.com/sorry-i-dont-speak-a-hole/39935 a french teacher tries to stump a student by speaking Russian]] only for the student to tell him he said he was a german German warship.
8th Jul '16 9:27:31 PM ImperialMajestyXO
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** In another case from their sister site, [[https://notalwayslearning.com/sorry-i-dont-speak-a-hole/39935 a french teacher tries to stump a student by speaking german]] only for the student to tell him he said he was a german warship.

to:

** In another case from their sister site, [[https://notalwayslearning.com/sorry-i-dont-speak-a-hole/39935 a french teacher tries to stump a student by speaking german]] Russian]] only for the student to tell him he said he was a german warship.
7th Jul '16 11:53:05 AM StFan
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* In ''[[BlackJewels Dreams Made Flesh]]'' by Creator/AnneBishop, Daemon wants to impress Jaenelle by telling her how much she means to him in the old tongue. He plans to say this one phrase he has taught himself in a very intimate situation, but during a faked public argument, he utters it as it's the only one he knows that their listeners won't be able to understand. Lucky for him he did that then, as what he was really saying was: [[spoiler:"I eat cow brains."]]

to:

* In ''[[BlackJewels ''[[Literature/BlackJewels Dreams Made Flesh]]'' by Creator/AnneBishop, Daemon wants to impress Jaenelle by telling her how much she means to him in the old tongue. He plans to say this one phrase he has taught himself in a very intimate situation, but during a faked public argument, he utters it as it's the only one he knows that their listeners won't be able to understand. Lucky for him he did that then, as what he was really saying was: [[spoiler:"I eat cow brains."]]
1st Jul '16 7:49:38 PM DarkHunter
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** Don't forget that Lopez' Spanish is all Babelfish, so very little of it makes any sense whatsoever. Plus he apparently mixes up French and Spanish.
--->'''Lopez''': Ok, hombre! Au revoir.

to:

** Don't forget that Lopez' Lopez, the Red Team's robot, can only speak Spanish. Thing is, none of Rooster Teeth's staff actually know Spanish, so all of Lopez's lines are just fed through Babelfish. The results can be... odd for Spanish is all Babelfish, so very little speakers. On top of it makes any sense whatsoever. Plus he that, voice actor Burnie Burns apparently mixes up French and Spanish.
--->'''Lopez''': Ok, hombre! Au revoir.
often slipped into a faux-French accent when trying to deliver the lines, which they referenced in a non-canon joke episode by having Lopez inexplicably start speaking French.
23rd Jun '16 3:15:57 AM gewunomox
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* In ''ComicStrip/{{Doonesbury}}'''s take on the USA for Africa "We Are The World" sessions, StevieWonder asks QuincyJones if they can sing "''milleloo shalanga''" during the fills after the chorus, explaining that it's a Swahili phrase he once heard. Jones asks the Ethopian observer if it would be offensive to Ethiopians, and the observer says no, so they begin singing it. However the observer (outside the frame) adds "It's not a very nice thing to say about your own sister, though."

to:

* In ''ComicStrip/{{Doonesbury}}'''s take on the USA for Africa "We Are The World" sessions, StevieWonder Music/StevieWonder asks QuincyJones Music/QuincyJones if they can sing "''milleloo shalanga''" during the fills after the chorus, explaining that it's a Swahili phrase he once heard. Jones asks the Ethopian observer if it would be offensive to Ethiopians, and the observer says no, so they begin singing it. However the observer (outside the frame) adds "It's not a very nice thing to say about your own sister, though."
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.MyHoverCraftIsFullOfEels