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* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} Japan'' has section explaining the problems foreigners can run into while attempting to speak Japanese, including how a few slight variations in tone and pronunciation can change "I want carrots and vegetables for dinner" into "My sister owns a demon who eats spies".


A subtrope of FunWithForeignLanguages. Often used in conjunction with EloquentInMyNativeTongue. Also compare EitherWorldDominationOrSomethingAboutBananas, which is about inept translations, SeparatedByACommonLanguage, in which similar problems happen because of differences in dialect, and {{Malaproper}}, a character who does this in their ''native'' language.

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A subtrope of FunWithForeignLanguages. Often used in conjunction with EloquentInMyNativeTongue. Also compare EitherWorldDominationOrSomethingAboutBananas, which is about inept translations, SeparatedByACommonLanguage, in which similar problems happen because of differences in dialect, and {{Malaproper}}, a character who does this in their ''native'' language.
language. DinnerOrderFlub is this applied to restaurant settings.


** 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.]]

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** A rare serious example occurs when a Spanish woman thought was brought in with an overdose, and her husband said she had was taking her prescribed medication as instructed. The instructions were only in English and said 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 a pill 'once a day', but the Spanish word for eleven 'eleven' is spelled the same for "once". Sadly, she 'once', but with a different pronunciation. [[spoiler:She died from of the 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.

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* Murdock may be ''Series/TheATeam'''s resident {{Omniglot}}, but his Italian isn't too great. Although the English speaking 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.



* ''Plein'' or ''pleine'' means ''"full"'' when applied to objects, so a novice French speaker who has had enough to eat might say ''"Je suis pleine"'', accidentally announcing their pregnancy. However, that's a perfectly reasonable way of speaking in Québec, thanks to their relative isolation and proximity with english speaking countries.

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* ''Plein'' or ''pleine'' means ''"full"'' when applied to objects, so a novice French speaker who has had enough to eat might say ''"Je suis pleine"'', accidentally announcing their pregnancy. However, that's a perfectly reasonable way of speaking in Québec, thanks to their relative isolation and proximity with english speaking English-speaking countries.


* In ''Literature/DiaryOfAWimpyKid'', it's revealed in the book "The Long Haul" that Susan Heffley, mother of Rodrick, Greg and Manny, thinks she can speak Spanish, but she can't. She thinks "tengo hambre" (which actually means "I'm hungry") means "tango hamburgers", and she thinks "What's your name?" in Spanish is "ti amo" (which actually means "I love you"). It embarrasses a younger Greg when he tries to ask a Spanish-speaking waiter what his name is by saying, "Ti amo! Ti amo!".

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* ''Literature/DiaryOfAWimpyKid'' -- In ''Literature/DiaryOfAWimpyKid'', it's revealed in the book 9th-book, "The Long Haul" Haul," Greg Heffley explains that Susan Heffley, his mother, Susan, has been trying to teach her sons how to speak Spanish since they were really young. However, though Greg admits that while his mother raises a good point in that being fluent in a language has a lot of Rodrick, Greg and Manny, benefits, the books show that she doesn't understand Spanish nearly as well as she thinks she can speak Spanish, but she can't. She does. For example:
** 1.) Susan
thinks "tengo "Tengo hambre" (which means "tango hamburgers" in English (it actually means "I'm hungry") hungry").
** 2.) Susan taught Greg that "te amo"
means "tango hamburgers", and she thinks "What's "What is your name?" in It wasn't until Greg started taking Spanish is "ti in middle school that he learned "Te amo" (which actually means "I love you"). you" and that the actual ''proper'' way to ask someone their name is "¿Cómo te llamas?" It embarrasses a younger Greg when he tries to ask a once tried asking Spanish-speaking waiter what his name is was by saying, "Ti amo! Ti amo!".saying "Te amo?! Te amo?!"

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* The book ''Literature/BrighterThanAThousandSuns'' is a history of the discovery of atomic fission and the development of the atom bomb, but an early scene in a German university town features a foreign student rushing into a shop and making an improper request of a shopkeeper's daughter. It turns out that in German if you switch a couple of vowel sounds then "Do you have a scale? I want to weigh something" comes out as "Do you have a cradle? I want to do something risky."

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** In a later book a White Court vampire is addressing the White Court in ''their'' official language, and is just as bad at it as Harry is at Latin. Thanks to assistance from a demon Harry understands it perfectly, so he gets to witness his opponent making an utter fool of himself.


--->'''Paula:'''Hi, my name is Paula and I'll be translating for the bride's sister this evening. Maureen, Jameson, to see you two together makes me nauseous. May your love and hamburger live on a Dutchman. You both look so drunk! [[BeatPanel (beat)]] I sincerely apologize for hiring the cheapest translator I could- '''HEY!'''

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--->'''Paula:'''Hi, --->'''Paula:''' Hi, my name is Paula and I'll be translating for the bride's sister this evening. Maureen, Jameson, to see you two together makes me nauseous. May your love and hamburger live on a Dutchman. You both look so drunk! [[BeatPanel (beat)]] I sincerely apologize for hiring the cheapest translator I could- '''HEY!'''

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* "Molestar" simply means "bother", "annoy" or "harass". Unlike other examples it's ''not'' a false cognate though, the word used to have the same meaning in both languages but the definition narrowed down specifically to sexual harassment in English.


* In ''Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space'', [=TuMok=] informs Gneelix that his greeting of "[[Series/MorkAndMindy Nanu-nanu]]" means "I wish to offer you employment in a Martian topless bar."


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* In ''Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space'', a Martian informs someone that their greeting of "[[Series/MorkAndMindy Nanu-nanu]]" means "I wish to offer you employment in a Martian topless bar."

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* In ''Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space'', [=TuMok=] informs Gneelix that his greeting of "[[Series/MorkAndMindy Nanu-nanu]]" means "I wish to offer you employment in a Martian topless bar."


* ''Polar Star'' (the sequel to ''Literature/GorkyPark''). An American sailor who learns [[UsefulNotes/EsperantoTheUniversalLanguage Esperanto]] as a hobby mentions a meeting his group organised between two famous practitioners of the language. "It took us five minutes to realise they couldn't understand what each other was saying. One's asking for the wine, the other's telling her the time."



* Done twice on ''Series/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).

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* Done twice on ''Series/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). It's implied in the latter case Damien was told the wrong phrase as a practical joke.

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* Another credit card commercial had an Australian tourist approaching a French policeman to ask directions to the Eiffel Tower. He's placed under arrest after saying, "I wish to [[AccidentalInnuendo mount your tower, could you expose yourself to me?]]"

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** In case anyone can't watch the video or it gets taken down: The girl had recently been released from the hospital, and the guy texted her to ask if she got home okay. However, instead of うちにかえる (Uchi ni kaeru), meaning "Did you get home?", he wrote うちにくる (Uchi ni kuru), meaning "Can I come over?"

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