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https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty

Using another language to confuse/avoid people?

truelefty
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Not with bad intentions; with good ones.

For example, imagine yourself in your city or town, and someone wants to mugg you [I'm not sure about the conjugation xD].
You start talking in another language as if you were from another country and you don't understand what the person is saying.
The other one gets confused (I think.)

That's the example I can think of, after experiencing something similar (but I spoke in Spanish and I almost get mugged. It was long time ago but now I am thinking this.)

Or.......... Imagine there is a friend of a friend of yours that maybe you don't want to meet, so you speak in other language to make him/her believe that you are not the person who you really are... I don't know, just saying XD

What other examples can you think of? Or have you done it?

Thanks ;)

2 years ago

53 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Gluehbirneee
Gluehbirneee
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Using another lanuage to pretend you're not supposed to know the place?

My friends and I were on a bike tour when we decided to take a break to go swimming in that lake on our way. After we've been swimming for a while we wanted to look for a beach volley ball field nearby. We actually spent like one and a half hours searching that field until we admitted that it might make sense to ask someone for directions. Since we were kind of embarassed of not knowing a place only 20 km from where we live, we decided to pretend we were tourists.

Next to our native tongue, German, we are only fluent in English but since we probably wouldn't be mistaken for a native English speaker, we decided we'd just speak English with a French accent.

It would have went really well if only the guy we were asking for directions hadn't happened to speak French.....

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NancyMihalich
NancyMihalich
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Ahhh! Haaaa! Haaaa! Busted!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty
truelefty
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HAHAH!! XDDDD Hilarious!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
aaditsingh8
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OH GOD XD That must've been embarrassing. XD What happened next? :P

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/germanwannabee

that cracked me up!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/asawp
asawp
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Wow. you have a very creative mind! I would never have thought of using language knowledge in the first situation you describe :)

I would mention that I practice Danish with telemarketers and other annoying salespersons. It is the most effective way of getting them to leave you alone.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Moomingirl
Moomingirl
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I had someone approach me in a car park to try to sell me windscreen insurance. I launched into several sentences of high speed Finnish. That confused them. Works every time. :P

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Delwyn6
Delwyn6
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Toinen suomalainen?!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HakeemEvrenoglu
HakeemEvrenoglu
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HAHAHAHAHA I never thought about doing it with telemarketers... or jehovah witnesses :p

I think you gave me a great idea! 5 lingots for you :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duoqueentho

you suck

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty
truelefty
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That's a good one, talking to those who call you to offer things... I should try speaking to them in Esperanto XD

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sjodni
Sjodni
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German is great for that, too.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gingerninja3148

My friend's family speaks German to telemarketers whenever they call. I should probably do it too. They never leave me alone otherwise.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
Puddleglum
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I do it for wrong numbers as well. People used to call me back repeatedly, as if a different person would pick up. Now they don't because they're confused! :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/finndj
finndj
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I use languages that do not sound common to others, such as Swedish, to avoid those people in malls who try to give you pamphlets. When I am with someone, I will say "pretend you understand me," and I will begin talking about nothing in particular in Swedish, so that the salesperson will think that we don't speak English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/miacomet
miacomet
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I do that too... In the subway stops and the train station where I live, there are always people giving out pamphlets on Eternal Damnation And How To Avoid It and the like. There are usually people who speak English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese around, and Danish sounds too much like English. I usually decline them in Turkish or Serbo-Croatian if they get too pushy with their One Righteous And True Path.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty
truelefty
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That's a thing that only a Duoer can do ;D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty
truelefty
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ohhh that's a good one! XD

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jessica4201
Jessica4201
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My aunt and uncle couldn't speak French, but their children could so they often spoke in it to each other so their parents wouldn't know what they were talking about. I thought it was a neat idea, but I couldn't try it myself as my brother also couldn't speak French.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty
truelefty
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Ah, that's a typical one ;D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
aaditsingh8
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That would be so awesome. To speak with your sibling in a language only they know. Alas my sister hates learning languages and was forced to learn German in school for five years because it was compulsory. :/

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cswrawr
cswrawr
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I'm not sure it would help much with a mugger... They might look at you as an even easier target.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/strmzzz
strmzzz
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This is true - some even look for tourists as they're often an easier target!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty
truelefty
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But what about a 'tourist' that actually knows everything about that place and about the methods they use?... that is my example ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brijsven
Brijsven
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Perhaps -- it could depend on the language and the degree of force used with said language ;) Intimidation (by the potential target, towards the potentially impending antagonist) would probably be at least one goal in such a situation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sjodni
Sjodni
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Yelling in German is scary.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gymnastical
Gymnastical
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I've never been in a situation where I really needed to do it, but sometimes I speak in a foreign language to impress people and they get confused. I've made a personal rule for myself that if I get into an argument or some other conversation that I don't wanna be involved in, I'll switch to a language that no one else in the room speaks and refuse to provide a translation, because they won't be able to form a response

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty
truelefty
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hahahaha XD

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit
bookrabbit
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For some reason I once spent an afternoon pretending to be French on a school cycling trip to Ludlow. I am certain I wasn't very convincing but as my intention was probably to be annoying it might have been succesful to some degree. That was a long time ago!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty
truelefty
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That reminds me of the movie "Catch me if you can" xD When DiCaprio pretends to be the French teacher. If you haven't seen that movie I highly recommend it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/susanstory
susanstory
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I've never done that personally, but at a place where I used to work decades ago, there was a girl there who was the same age that I was. She was from Laos. She came here as a refugee. Anyway, she used to say that when some weird guy accosted her on the street, that she used to just talk her language, which was Lao.

She also said when she went to school in her country that they had to learn their own language and that she didn't like it because she already knew her own language. She was pretty smart, because whenever I told her how to spell a word in English, I only had to tell her once and she knew it. She used to get the words "jealous" and "yelling" confused. One time she said to me something like, "You get yelling at me" or that someone was yelling at her. I told her that she meant "jealous" and I had to tell her how to pronounce it properly with the "j" sound. She practised saying it and then I had to tell her what "yelling" means. Then she wanted to know the meaning of "jealous". I couldn't think of how to explain it. Then the boss said to her, "Your husband has a girlfriend. Are you mad?" Then she said, "Yes" and seemed mad. Then he said to her, "That's jealous. Do you understand now?"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BigMac_ComboMeal

Might be a good way to ward off the Jehovah's Witnesses

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Patrick1107
Patrick1107
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Have you seen theire website ? Jehovah's Witnesses are properly the biggest Polyglots.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrookeLorren
BrookeLorren
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On the web site. That doesn't mean the ones at your door are.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/buenotc
buenotc
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They travel errr walk a lot lol lol :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eflorezpty

Hahahahaha Great Idea!!!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dr_Patriot

Because most people have limited knowledge of any given language besides ones they have studied (and most people haven't studied any languages besides the one's necessary for daily life), a person can speak gibberish in a very foreign language and will usually be interpreted as speaking their native tongue.

In the past I've spoken Serbo-Croatian gibberish using the few words I actually know to appear as a Balkan man who didn't understand English or French to avoid speaking with unsavoury people in my native Québec.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-..--..-.-.-.-

Oh ye all the time, if someone bothers me or makes fun of me I'll just start rambling in Swedish about random crap and eventually they'll get frustrated and screw off.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Balaur
Balaur
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One time in my high school years at a Christmas party with mostly people I didn't know, I told my two or three friends that I was with to play along while I pretended to be an exchange student named Fritz from a Romanian family in Austria, and that I could only speak German and Romanian. One of my friends was taking German with me in high school, so he acted as my translator for the night, though no one really said more than a few words to me. I don't really do this anymore, but I occasionally still use the pseudonym Fritz and put on a pseudo-Kiwi accent to confuse friends of friends that I'm meeting for the first time.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/miacomet
miacomet
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I do this with Spanish a lot. My mom and aunt speak Spanish because they lived in a handful of Spanish-speaking countries when they were younger, and my cousins were raised bilingually. I learned Spanish here and there, but my sister is only just starting now that she's in high school.

Whenever we wanted to plan things like her birthday or make plans we didn't want her to know about, we'd just speak Spanish. That incentivized her to start learning it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrookeLorren
BrookeLorren
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The other day, my husband and I were trying different types of chili at a chili cook-off. We didn't want the people that cooked the chili to know our opinions of the chili, or at least, how we thought of their chili compared to the others, so we would talk about the chili in French. French is not my best foreign language, but it is a foreign language that my husband and I have in common.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WajeehaTahir
WajeehaTahir
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whenever someone annoys me I start speaking Spanish. That gets rid of people for sure.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimothyAspeslagh

I've also thought about that, when strangers asks favours from me and I really don't want to be bothered, I'd answer in swedish, say whatever, they don't understand anyway :')

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrankKool
FrankKool
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There was a comedian (forgot who) who made a joke about pretending to be Russian to avoid getting mugged on the street. He'd see a bunch of gangstas walk up to him saying: "You came to the wrong neighborhood, mutha-------!" and then he'd casually respond in a faux Russian accent: "Vhat? You zhink this be bad nayburhood?"

I should try that one day. :P

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rachael.cr3
rachael.cr3
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I write all my notes at college in a hybrid of Russian and English, in Cyrillic characters, so no one else can read them. Not that anyone is jumping to look at my notes, but it amuses me!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty
truelefty
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Great one! Writing Spanish or whichever language in Hebrew letters it amazing as well, because its writing system is much more different from Spanish than Cyrillic is.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/magicafan
magicafan
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When my sister/parents annoy me I'll say something in Swedish to confuse them haha Works every time

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Schwitzhofer

I tend to use German when a friend gets on my nerves. It's really funny. I have even gotten through a week of speaking only German to certain people. Luckily I didn't need much vocabulary considering that most questions were, "Can you speak English?" I would say nein and hopefully they would stop.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samantha.g94

I wonder who that friend might be...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Schwitzhofer

Well obviously not you because you will understand me. Also, you don't hit apples out of my hand, like some people.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/P.Salamander

Sometimes I purposely use too much English while talking to a Bengali speaker either so that (i) They have no idea what I'm saying (is really useful at times); or (ii) They get annoyed and go away.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AdelaideSo
AdelaideSo
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One time in my German class in the beginning of the year, (in 8th grade), some of the boys were sticking typical "Kick me" signs on people's backs (including my friend) and getting a good laugh out of it. Me, having a previous knowledge of German, decided to get them back for fun, and I wrote "Ich bin ein traurig Löffel" on a sheet of paper and stuck it on their backs as a joke. In turn, the boys thought I wrote a swear and tried to send me to the principal's office, while I was desperately trying to tell them that it meant "I am a sad spoon". Ahh... fond memories.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/germanwannabee

i always thought it would be fun to speak a foreign language while prank calling, never tried it though.

2 years ago