They didn't know I could understand them.
So, funny story, I recently started Duolingo, but I am fluent in Spanish. Now it's usually easier for Portugese speakers to understand Spanish, but our whole family has studied a bit of Portugese. Once when we visited family in Spain and we had to take a train. When we got on we brought our weiner dog (Harley) with us. He was barking at the man from a family next to us who was carrying some sort of food dish. They were a small family, father, mother, and (if I had to guess around 6-7 year old) kid. Now me and my family were talking in english. The lady from the family next to us began to complain about our dog. Since she was talking in Portugese I could understand most of what she was saying. Things like "They need to learn to control this pet" "Keep that devil away from me" ect. We were close to our stop when she starts insulting our family. "Do you think she owns a hairbrush" she points to my mom "We need to move away from these pests!" Now my whole family had heard her and my mom who also speaks Portugese, said to the woman, (in portugese) "Don't worry we are leaving :)" and we all quickly proceeded to exit the train (as we had arrived at our stop) but not to quickly to miss the dropped jaw of the woman, and her husbands slight snicker. (Sorry for any bad grammar, hope you enjoy the story)
Edit: No offense to anyone who speaks Portugese/is learning. :P use your language to empower. Edit 2: I am gettign some hate about Harley. 1. He is still a puppy and currently being trained. 2. forgot to mention about the man holding the food, he saw him and was teasing him. 3. Harley was on a leash and not near them. 4.We have brought him on trains before and have never had complaints, or has he acted out in any way. Have a nice day :)
Funny story. Lots of fun times learning another language. I am not fluent in Vietnamese but know enough to have simple conversations and when someone is playing a joke on me.
I was at a birthday party with mostly adults and everyone but me were Vietnamese. Most had never met me before. They cut the cake and passed the pieces around and when mine came I noted everyone staring at me. No one was talking, just staring. I was kind of paranoid but got over it and started to eat the cake.
Tasting it I immediately knew why the stares. There was a layer of durian in it. Durian is a kind of fruit that to some is the worst smell, taste and texture of any food in the world. Look it up on youtube for some funny encounters.
Lucky for me, I like durian. After I ate one bite I looked around to make eye contact with everyone and announced in Vietnamese, "Ah, durian. A very delicious fruit." They started laughing as up to that point they only hear me speak English. I suspect some were disappointed I didn't spit it out.
And I suspect Songve is very modest about his language abilities. I didn't even know durian in English. And he knew it in Vietnamese!
That made me laugh. Have a lingot.
Almost everyone in my uncle's wife's family speaks Vietnamese, but I haven't had time to learn the language. Do you recommend it? Is it easy? Is it similar to Chinese?
About 60% of Vietnamese words are Chinese, and you'll be surprised how little that helps due to how much those words have changed in Mandarin. (In Vietnamese, as in many Southern Chinese dialects, they haven't changed much).
It certainly isn't easy, and grammatically it's very different from Chinese, but it's a beautiful language
I wonder how much Chinese you know. I'm Chinese and I'd say most Sino-Vietnamese words are not difficult at all for me to learn. The grammar also seems very similar to Chinese except for the noun-adjective order. I'd be interested to hear what makes you think they are grammatically very different.
I don't know much about Vietnamese but I am going to say that it is not similar to Chinese at all. Chinese has a completely different writing system, and the closest languages to it are Korean and Japanese, which are still pretty different from Chinese.
It's my understanding that the Vietnamese writing system is somewhat similar to pinyin in some ways. For example, one "word" is never more than a syllable long.
That's basically correct. Even though Vietnamese uses Latin characters, it does not follow spacing rules in European languages at all. By that I mean there has to be a space in a 2-syllable word even when each syllable by itself doesn't mean anything. (Although the "-" is sometimes used for loan words.)
I disagree. I am Chinese and have been studying Vietnamese for a couple of months. The two languages share a lot in common, both in terms of vocabulary and grammar. Korean and Japanese are noticeably more different from Chinese, especially when it comes to grammar.
Have a lingot for giving a lingot to the one who gave a lingot to the one who gave a lingot.
Lots of Vietnamese words come from Middle Chinese, but they're quite well-disguised and weather-beaten, so are not obviously helpful without knowing exactly what to look for if you're trying to connect them with words in Mandarin.
Vietnamese is highly analytic like Chinese, but completely unrelated. It's a lot more similar to Chinese than, e.g., Japanese or Korean, however (purely by chance).
I wouldn't say chance, Southeast Asian tonal languages are a sprachbund and they're in a continuum with Chinese languages, even though they are not related in terms of language trees.
I was gonna be lazy and just sort of "get it" by context but you inspired me. A sprachbund (German: [ˈʃpʁaːxbʊnt], "federation of languages"), also known as a linguistic area, area of linguistic convergence, diffusion area or language crossroads, is a group of languages that have common features resulting from geographical proximity and language contact.
I'm a native Vietnamese and I've been learning Chinese for 3 months.
What the others said about the differences between the 2 languages are correct, but I can guarantee that these languages have a lot of things in common, from pronunciation, grammar (in a way) to vocabulary and expressions.
So if you have already learned Chinese, it would be a lot easier to pick up Vietnamese.
I'm Chinese and I endorse this comment. Vietnamese is a lot easier to learn for me than Japanese and Korean. It has its difficult parts (listening is a bit of a challenge because most "grammatical" words are only 1 syllables as opposed to 2 in Chinese) but the grammar is very straightforward, I basically didn't even learn any grammar and I can already form many complex sentences correctly (as indicated by native speakers). On the other hand, I cannot progress in Japanese and Korean without grammar learning and all the grammar rules make my head spin (especially Korean in the beginner stage).
Interesting language fact about durian. The Vietnamese word (they have many "words" that use spaces) for it is "sầu riêng". The literal translation is "sad alone". An apt name.
Huh, that is interesting . I am a native Vietnamese speaker, and I’ve never heard someone say sad as sầu before . Wouldnt the common word for sad be buồn ? . Maybe its a southern thing, please let me knows
You like durian..you're special...I can't even get close to it without getting "sick", I have close friends who tell me to freeze it and then I won't smell it and it's really good...even frozen I can smell it. Kudos to you for surprising them back...LOL
Completely off-topic, but whenever I see your profile pic out of the corner of my eye it looks like some sort of snake. Must be the colours. :)
Same! It looks like flowers are eyes and the background is the head..... although when I zoom in it looks like two flowers. (I’m pretty sure they’re flowers :). )
To me, it looks like a white snake, and the flower on the left is the snake's open mouth.
Excellent story! As a Brit in Malaysia with my Malaysian friend, I was like a carnival attraction because I liked Durian...
I don't remember if I actually ate it when I lived in Thailand, but it really does smell bad.
Same thing happened to me, kind of at least. I am fluent in English and Afrikaans, and understand Dutch, and while we were in the Netherlands on holiday, a similar thing happened to us on a train xD
I spat the durian out, and I suspect my Davao city friend that gave it to me, calling it "the king of fruits" is still laughing when she is thinking about it...
Happened to a friend to; My friend is Asian and we were in Greece. The people on the table next to us in a restaurant, hearing us speaking English, started making some REALLY racist coments, in Greek. I let them do it, and then turned round and told them to please stop saying that because it was offensive. They were mortified.
TIP: just assume that people can understand your language!
The people on the table next to us in a restaurant, hearing us speaking English, started making some REALLY racist coments, in Greek.
You can't speak Greek in Greece and not expect to be understood...
and then turned round and told them to please stop saying that because it was offensive.
Did you tell them that in Greek?
Seriously, especially English! Why would anyone ever assume no-one around them could understand English!
I always tell my students (I teach English in China) never assume the other person doesn't understand you...be polite, (btw it won't kill you to be kind), and don't say anything in any language that would be unkind, that's just showing you have manners. I hear all sorts of comments about me on public transport and now and again I do respond. I don't speak a lot of Chinese but that doesn't mean I don't understand it. :) Just an FYI we tend to learn the unkind stuff first in a new language..
I have found (as a foreigner) living in China, one of two things happen most often, first you are ignored and treated like you are not even visible...so people will cut in front of you, or bump into you and say nothing. If the person is about the age of my students, then I will usually say something to them because most students here speak some English. Or they stare at you like you are an animal in the zoo...they take photos without asking or say rather rude things. Again if they are the age of my students I will say something, they need to know it's unacceptable behavior. I have developed many ways to deal with rude...I'm sure most of us expats have learned how to do that. The best lesson however is to look inside and see if you are also rude...then fix it. Living abroad has made me way more sensitive to others than prior to living abroad. I think it's a good thing and I wish more people could travel and learn how to treat others with respect, it's not hard to do.
The pro of being able to understand more than one language lmao. This reminds me, we were at a Chinese buffet a few summer ago, my mom and I(we are Chinese) wanted to get some Hibachi, and this hibachi chef was on his lunch break, and he dropped the f-bomb in chinese because we wanted some hibachi. My mom heard him(I wasn't paying attention at all), and told him that to cancel our order. He looked so surprised as we left.
My aunt is a light-skinned Latina woman who used to live in PR. One day, she's outside of the Barnes and Noble in my local community. She was visiting for a few weeks, and she was sitting on the bench to have a cigarette. Well, these ladies are saying in spanish "Oh, who does she think she is? She looks so slutty, etc." So she walked up to them and asked, "Can you please light my cigarette?" in Spanish. They lit her cig and ran away from her, absolutely mortified. Hope they learned their lesson.
They lit her cig and ran away from her, absolutely mortified.
Very entertaining, especially since they actually lit the cigarette.
The writer Elias Cannetti grew up in a multi-lingual environment and tells in the first volume of his autobigrpahy, Die Gerettete Zunge, how knowledge of languages was seen as a matter of life and death. He recounts how a passenger on a steamship overheard two men speaking Greek planning to murder in his cabin another passenger carrrying a lot of money when the ship reached the next port, and to disembark with the stolen case of money. They did not expect anyone else there to understand Greek, but that passenger did. The authorities were warned, guards posted, the robbers arrested, and the victim's life and money saved.
There is also a story about Rene Descartes, the 17th Century (1596-1650) French philosopher. He was on a ship, leaning over the rail and watching the sea. He heard two men behind him, speaking a different language (I don't remember which language) and plotting to grab the money purse dangling from his belt and throw him overboard. He whirled around as he drew his sword and threatened them in their own language. They didn't come near him again.
I just ordered this book in its original German! Thanks for the recommendation!
No offense to our Portuguese colleagues of course, and fair play to the weiner dog, my favourite.
Good thing I have a good family to back me up when I'm in Greece.
I'm Greek-American, but in Greece I dont seem that way because I'm blonde and fair skinned. I speak Greek well, but when I'm with my family in the islands and the old towns I prefer to speak English with them, as they love to practice.
We were all sitting in a restaurant ordering souvlaki (yum) and they were speaking English with me. When the waiter came over to take the order, he was being difficult with my cousin about his order (which he got all the time) and was referring to my uncle and aunt who were considerably older than him informally (not so big of a deal in the US, but definitely in Greece). In response, my uncle got very very angry and confronted the waiter and the boss, to which they responded that they thought they were tourists, hence the disrespect.
I felt a bit guilty having brought that upon them by my laziness and refusal to speak Greek, but hey, what can ya do?
It's not your fault if those people are used to being rude around tourists! I would even say it's good that you "unmasked" their disrespectful nature (at least now you know not to go back there)
But were they deliberately being rude, or speaking informally for the sake of simplicity? I recall my Spanish teacher mentioning her (english) students would often muddle the formal/informal, so to me it's not so farfetched that employees accustomed to english tourists might just forgo the formal entirely to save time.
made me laugh and smile. have a lingot!
a similar thing happened to my friend (he speaks English). so he was at this basketball court, and he overheard three Mexican guys making fun of him. when they had finished laughing and mocking he went up to them and said in Spanish "your right i do suck at basketball, but i don't think i am ugly"
not offense to anyone that is Mexican or speaks Spanish i just thought it was a funny story of inconvenience :)
In America this is a good reason to know several languages. The general consensus among multi-lingual speakers in America (and not without some basis) is that the average American is lazy and doesn't speak any other languages.
I can completely understand the satisfaction of telling rude people off to their face and them not understanding it -- highly literate English speakers have been doing this for centuries to other English speakers -- but sometimes people use language like some use the internet to be nasty because they think they're being anonymous.
I tend to give them enough rope, and then let them know that they weren't as slick as they believed when I make my departure.
My visit to Spain was like that for the entire 2 months. Just bartenders talking trash and assuming I didn't understand them. Also almost every restaurant would bring you stuff you didn't order and then make you pay for it. People would beg as if they were poor and then take out there smartphones and expensive cigarettes at the end of the day to catch the bus. I wish to see Barcelona still, maybe people are friendlier in the eastern part of the country.
I learned to avoid eating in restaurants in Spain when I traveled along the coast. Terrible service. Instead I tried to eat all my food in small family-driven bars, with husband/wife behind the counter and making the food, and children serving. Never had a negative experience. Good food, children even understand if you talk in a totally different language, and everybody being nice.
That's hysterical. Thanks for sharing. When my German husband doesn't want anyone to know what he's saying, he speaks with me in English. Needless to say, he gets caught quite often. Because they don't speak it doesn't mean they don't understand it. I think we both need to take Klingon. LOL.
Can I suggest Lojban? I find it prettier than Klingon and even more rare. :P
Lojban is an artificial language, like e.g. Esperanto. Lojban is, if I remember correctly, designed as a completely logical language. There are web pages about it.
I love this! That other lady was so disrepectful! Why can't people just be nice?! Thank goodness you guys knew what she was saying all along, and now she will think twice (hopefully) when she is disrepectful to strangers. Also, people don't always need to know what one is saying, sometimes it shows with their non-verbal expressions as well. She will just be a sad and miserable person forever. Thanks for sharing!!!
It is good to "awaken" some rude people that their speech is understood. Once I had to speak in the language of two tourists who were laughing about urinating into the hotel swimming pool. So I had to comment about this loudly. Awful.
It's not a good idea to speak Portuguese in Spain if you want to talk privately.
Now my whole family had heard her and my mom who also speaks Portugese, said to the woman, (in portugese) "Don't worry we are leaving :)" and we all quickly proceeded to exit the train (as we had arrived at our stop) but not to quickly to miss the dropped yaw of the woman, and her husbands slight snicker.
Responding in Portuguese is definitely the best way to deal with a situation like that. I wonder if you ever met those people again.
I assume it's because we had been speaking English the whole ride. I and my brother's first language was actually English, but my parents wanted us to know Spanish and Portuguese, because of relatives, and it's just a good skill to have.
my parents wanted us to know Spanish and Portuguese
Español y portugués son casi idénticos.
Espanhol e português são quase idênticos.
Yes but there are some false-friends that sucks. Besides the grammar is a little bit different. Or those are my excuses because I am a Brazilian who knows English but not Spanish. You choose. LOL But Seriously I think Spanish more complicated to learn for me than English was.
Grammatical gender is one of the hardest ones. I will never understand how bridges and trees are men to them!
They are not, it has nothing to do with actual gender, and speakers of the language don't think of it like that at all. :)
It's like Andu444 said. We put gender in things and not sex in it lol. A Tree is feminine in gender and we have the proper pronouns for it. I'm speaking Portuguese because I still don't understand Spanish very well.
Com certeza não em termos de pronúncia e de gírias.
Seguramente no en termos de pronuncia y de jerga.
Something funny happened like probably a week ago so I'm learning some Japanese I'm not super super good but I can have like a small conversation with someone,So anyways I was at a Wal-Mart with my nana and my brother was running around acting crazy so these people who spoke Japanese go and tell a employee so obviously the employee did not speak Japanese so he was like so confused trying to say the he's couldn't speak Japanese so I go over and try to help and the Japanese woman was like do you know that child, and I was like yes,so then she was like .ca you tell him to be quite and I was like yes I'll try and then when I walked away she turned around and just watched me make my brother shut up and then what seemed like forever she final y walked away and the employee just have me that I don't know what just happened look!! Anyways it was funny, to me at lest hope you enjoyed sorry for and grammar errors or anything thx for reading this!!!
This summer I went for a technology conference in DC. They didn't have enough room in the hotel above the conference center so my team got put in a swanky Casino Hotel.
A friend and I were sunbathing next to the pool when this Korean couple in their late started arguing very loudly in their native language. It was basically about how both of them were dissatisfied with the way they treated each other. The girl got really stressed out about not wanting to marry someone who couldn't treat her right and the guy said she complained about everything no matter how much time and money he spend to make her happy.
It was really weird because I didn't fully register the fact that they were speaking a language that the general public didn't understand until my friend was like "I wonder what they're arguing about" and I realized I could tell her exactly what they were arguing about right down to minute details like her speech becoming more formal the more done with him she got.
We went back into the pool and moved away from them because I felt bad for eavesdropping and I figured I should give them some privacy even if they didn't know I could understand them. The last thing I heard the girl say was "lets break up" and then later the guy stormed off.
I just hope they got home okay. That would be a really awkward plane ride.
I have a question, what does "weiner dog" mean?
(I'm a spanish speaker)
Ciao Alan. Weiner is a type of sausage = sausage dog = dachshund - in Italian I think it is a bassotto. Cute little chaps.
Thanks Linda! In Spanish we say "Perro salchicha", that actually translate like "Sausage dog".
In Brazil we know them as salsicha, salsichinha and basset (pronounced bassê). Quite a struggle to pronounce dachshund in a language in which most consonants not followed by a vowel violate phonotactics, and even if we went for "dáquis-rúndji" or "dárris-rúndji", that word still looks nothing like that unless we study German.
I wish I could post a photo of my cute wiener dogs! They are funny little dogs with funny personalities. And they can be a pain in the butt, so I'm not surprised one was barking on the train! I once brought two on an airplane and swore to never do it again, even though they were the stars of the flight and the flight attendant carried one around to show to everyone. If I were to spell dachshund in Spanish, so you knew how to say it, I would write. "dak-san" It's not exactly right, but pretty close Edit: I put a photo of one of my dachshunds as my profile photo. He had just caught a mouse and we were having trouble taking it away from him.
That has never happened to me that I know of but if does in Indonesia I know what to do. Funny story, nice story, thanks for sharing!
That is a funny story!
That reminds me I was just at a Spanish church and for some reason a lot of people were surprised I spoke Spanish.
So the pastor made visitors get up and introduce themselves, so when it was my turn I started telling my name and where I am from and there was quite a few loud gasps across the congregation, but then after the service literally everyone came up to me calling me Andres (they refused to call me by my English name even though I introduced myself by it.) and they were all coming up saying “Dios le bendiga” “God bless you”
They were really nice people I cannot wait till my next visit.
That often happens. I've experienced the same thing once with people from the UK believing I couldn't speak English whereas I'm bilingual but oh well. People are jerks sometimes.
She was insulting her hair. Sometimes it's frizzy, but she usually just styles it. It was in a messy bun XD. Really just the woman being rude.
histoire drôle!! I am learning french, sorry for any mistakes. I am trying to practice as much as I can.
That's a funny story, I am from Brazil and lack a little bit on Spanish I intend to start learning it soon. I always found English easier for me than Spanish. But back to your story, there are people who need to respect more the other no matter where they came from. Your mom did right showing them they were making fool of themselves.
Learning Spanish is a passion of mine. I hope to have some mastery of the language soon! I have enjoyed your story! Thanks for sharing! +1
Can't wait to have an experience like this. Lol. If I ever go to Sweden I'll probably speak an equal amount of Swedish and English. Only cuz pronunciation is suuupppeerr hard.
I'm a fluent Japanese speaker (ignore my Jpnese score, i use it as an xp farm lol). Yes your Japanese is understandable, though its quite "rigid". Also using "anata" like "you" in English is a very English-centric way of constructing Japanese sentences. It would sound much more natural if you got rid of it.
English forum or no, this is a multilingual site. Why can't they use their language? Just ask them to translate if it really bugs you that much.
Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.
Correction: It is a language learning forum. We can discuss in any language available in Duo, if you really need to know what they are saying, then just ask kindly for a translation.
Wow, I wouldn't have bothered hiding in another language. I'd have been all over those bad pet owners (people in general by the sound of it) in English.
Surprisingly Harley is well behaved. It was mostly because the man was holding the food and teasing him with it. He is always looking for something new to eat. :P
To be fair, dachshunds are REALLY hard to control, very stubborn dogs, but then I can't blame the lady for her frustration for that reason. My mum has one, he likes to bark, he's loud, he's hard to stop. It would perhaps have been more appropriate to use the Portuguese to acknowledge what a genuine nuisance they can be...
Original poster, désolée, mais il faut que vous essayiez de mieux dresser votre chien.
He is just a puppy. And like you said very stubborn. It's truly unfair however because he was purposefully teasing him with the food. We bring him on trains regularly and never get complaints. .-.
Hola! Yo hablo inglés, pero yo quiero practicar mi español. ¡A mi me gusta su cuento! Yo hablo más español que mi puntaje. Yo tengo una clase de español.
Hola!, muy buen español. Felicidades. Un consejo, si quieres sonar más natural, intenta ir "eliminando" poco a poco algunos pronombres como "yo". En español, a diferencia de ingles, conjugamos los verbos de manera diferente para cada pronombre, por lo que no es necesario decirlos en cada frase.
Hola! Yo hablo inglés, pero quiero practicar mi español. ¡A mi me gusta su cuento! Yo hablo más español que mi puntaje, porque tengo una clase de español.
Greetings from Chile!
¡Gracias para el consejo, Alan! Puedo conjugue, pero pienso lo es difícil escribir naturalmente en español.
¡Gracias para el consejo, Alan! Puedo conjugar, pero pienso que es difícil escribir naturalmente en español.
Keep it up!
You have 745 streak! You're already brave, that is the thing you have not noticed!
It's always great to give that huge surprise to someone or some group that speaks another language that you speak it as they assume you don't know it. Best part of being multilingual. Your family sure left a memorable and probably an embarrassing experience on them