a really embarrassing french mistake...
my grandma and grandpa own a bed and breakfast so i meet people from all around the world. this time in particular i met a french lady. now this wasn't anything new since i have met many french people before but now that i am learning the language i wanted to test out my skills. she greeted me by saying hello and telling me she was french. i started off by saying in french "i am new to french so please bare with me" the lady just looked at me in confusion then started laughing. i was confused as well and my cheeks rather pink. apparently i said "i am new to french so please get naked with me" in french. i was so embarrassed i am just glad she was super sweet about it and plus i made her smile.
kind of a random story i just thought it was super funny :)
That is funny! I'm glad you could both laugh about it :D
In English, bare is to get naked; the word you are looking for is "please BEAR with me". If you look that up in WordReference or Google Translate you'll have better luck the next time you see your French speaking guest.
Kudos for trying out your new skills! The more we stumble the more we learn.
Yep, numerous English jokes revolve around this common spelling mistake.
Homophones¹ are a common source of puns and funny misunderstandings.
¹ Homophones - One of two or more words, such as night and knight, that are pronounced the same but differ in meaning, origin, and spelling.
I hope you won't let this discourage you from continuing to try your French.
We've all been there with more or less similar mistakes.
I've found that the more embarrassing the mistake, the more I learn from it and the less likely I am to forget how to say what I wanted.
Thanks for sharing your lovely story! :)
Here's a nice explanation: https://www.vocabulary.com/articles/chooseyourwords/homonym-homophone-homograph/
First, a lingot.
Second, brava. You are reaching out!
I walked into the canteen of the theater I was working at in Berlin (on a temperate day) and confidently announced, "Ich bin sehr warm!!!" The entire population burst out laughing. Depending on who I asked, I either said, "I'm really horny" or "I'm very gay".
No trying, no speak-y. I would laugh more, were it not for all my personal stumbles. Know that we are laughing WITH you, not AT you.
The first time I met my girlfriend, she mentioned that she was from Brazil, so I tried to show off for her and her friends by saying the (very few) things I could remember from the few Portuguese lessons I'd done on Duolingo. I tried to say "Eu como pão" ("I eat bread"), and instantly they all lost their minds laughing. Apparently I hadn't leaned hard enough on that nasal sound in "pão," so what I'd actually proudly announced was "Eu como pau," which is "I eat d*ck."
Many years ago, when I was 15, I stayed with a French family for a month as part of an exchange program. The meals they served were delicious and very big. One time the mom asked me if I wanted more, but I had had enough, so I tried to say, "No thank you, I am full" in French. Unfortunately, I said, "Non merci, je suis pleine," which resulted in uproarious laughter. They informed me that I had announced I was pregnant!! Oops!!
Oh haha!! I had a similar(ish) thing happen to me.
So I was at Whole Foods and I was looking for rose water, and I was struggling to find it when a Hispanic employee walked up to me and said in broken English, "Can I help you find something" and I said yes, and then I wanted to try my skills at Spanish but then I decided against it because I thought I would mess up so I said, "Rose water" and he didn't seem to understand so I said in Spanish, what I thought was, "Can you help me find the rose water?" but actually meant, "Can you find how water my roses for you?" And the guy made this weird expression and then burst out laughing, and pointed to aisle 3. So yeah, ^-^
pretty funny! I'd better do my homework tho
Here is another language-related embarrassing situation. I’m an American and was on a business trip in Mexico. One of my hosts was a woman named Esperanza, but she told me that I could call her by her nickname, “Pera”. Whenever I said her name, I noticed that others were making funny faces. At the end of the day, I asked Pera if I had been mispronouncing her name. She told me that I shouldn’t roll the “r” in Pera. By rolling the “r” I had been calling this woman a female dog all day (the English equivalent is “b*tch”)! I was so embarrassed!!
I love it! A few times in my native language, I have said things innocently that later I found out was pretty naughty sounding and at the time had no idea why the insulted look I got, then the bursts of laughter when all knew I meant something else entirely that WAS legit but because of so many euphemisms, I was clueless. I really livened the funeral up.
The closest I have to this is when I said someone "was playing hard to get" because he was being too adamant in an argument in some relatively serious forum. I didn't know this expression in English only works when you are resisting flirting, in Brazilian Portuguese "se fazer de difícil" could be going out of your way to make things more difficult for another person regardless of context (we also have "fazer doce" or "fazer ♂♏ doce" which is "to be candy-♀♎", but I judged that as inappropriate for the situation).
i wanted to speak Spanish to my classmate and instead of saying i couldn't sleep for the whole night i said i want to sleep with you and then we will get a baby.
I had an embarrassing moment too. I met a French female language exchange partner for the first time at a Starbucks (I am a male) and we sat outside. As soon as we started talking, I wanted to tell her I was hot, but I accidentally said "I am horny". She was a little freaked out haha.
So as a lesson, do not say "Je suis chaud" The proper way to say you are hot is "J'ai chaud" lol.
Honest mistake. The saying is "bear with me" not "bare with me" so translating it into french would naturally come out wrong. Plus, "bear with me" is an idiom, a figure of speech, so even that won't make sense once translated. "Be patient with me" or just "please forgive my mistakes" would have been more accurately what you were trying to convey.
I'll add a funny story, too, if I may... I make jewellery and was in the process of helping a French customer choose a necklace to buy, She wasn't sure what style she wanted so I asked whether she wanted a 'collier' (necklace) or whether she preferred a 'ras de cou' (choker). The trouble is that I didn't pronounce the latter very well and she understood 'ras de cul' - a low ass/butt. She wasn't amused!!
Your story gives us an excuse to take a look at a French term
that entered English use:
Another fun fact about Cul de sac is that Tolkien used a sort of translation of it
for the home of Bilbo Baggins, "Bag end" (that was located at a dead-end),
to poke fun at the British use of French terms.
I find that the more connotations I have for a word,
the more likely I am to remember it.
This is so hilarious I'm giving you a lingot. When I was 18 and living in Paris for a year, I was trying to explain to my host mother that Americans try to avoid preservatives. You might have already guessed it... I used the false cognate "préservatif," which she explained (after rolling with laughter) that a préservatif is a condom.
Yeah, you're making the classic mistake of translating mot par mot. You need to eventually translate phrases that mean the same thing. I'm guessing you said something along the lines of "je suis nouveau en français" for example, and while it isn't incorrect, it's not the way I'd expect actual French speakers to say it. I'd have probably said "je vien de commencer à apprendre le français, alors soyez patient s'il vous plait." As Archer taught me "Idioms don't translate!"