A funny Spanish experience
Bit of backstory: People often think that I speak Spanish because of my appearance. An example of this was the other day, I was on my way to the grocery store when a Spanish lady came up to me and started talking really fast in Spanish. I had no idea what she was saying so I tried to tell her I don't speak Spanish very well, but I ended up saying, "no hablas español bien". Only realised when I got home that I had told her that she didn't speak Spanish very well! I felt so bad but it was funny and I thought I'd share it with you guys.
Don't feel bad, learning is making mistakes! Next time you see her, you'll blow her away with your newly learned vocabulary. :)
I doubt any offence was caused - as soon as you started speaking she probably immediately realised you were not a fluent speaker and that it was just a "verbal typo".
As long as your body language and demeanour is genuinely polite, people will rarely think that you're deliberately being rude if you say something wrong.
She might have even stopped and given you an impromptu Spanish lesson, but was probably in a rush if she was speaking that quickly. :)
A few times the very opposite situation has happened to me. While in the USA, I'd go to a taquería and see the whole staff appears to be Latino, and I'd place my order and start chatting in Spanish. On a few occasions apparently this offended individuals, who think I assumed they were unable to speak English. Because of that I've learned to ask first, "¿Le molesta si practico mi español con usted?" (Do you mind if I practice my Spanish with you?")
"Despacio, por favor." I remember that line in the beginning of the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But when I am in Spanish markets or talking to Spanish speaking neighbors, I never had to use that line. Unlike you, one look at me and a couple of sentences later, they know they are dealing with a slow one and tend to break out in English. "Español, por favor."
No, but I was wondering if it meant what I thought it meant.
And so now I know. ; )
It is funny, and in a way you were right I think, cause she spoke it fast and you couldn't understand her?!
I live in Spain and I can't tell you how many times I say something in my not-very-good-Spanish and the person will reply in English.
I find that slightly annoying, when people hear my accent and suppose I cannot speak their language (though often it's because they just want to practice their English). I just continue in the target language. Where in Spain are you?
the trick is to not respond in English - I used to say i'm Danish because i'm dirty blonde with a red beard.
I bet she thought how rude! That is a funny story, don't let it keep you from trying again. Thanks for sharing.
Lmao that was one hilarious situation. The good thing is you realized the mistake tho
Heeehee that funny though ☺ but I hear foreigners saying things wrong and it just makes me smile.
don't remember because I was so confident in what I had said that I didn't bother paying attention much to her reaction! I'm sure she would've been a bit miffed now reflecting back on it.
Bonita historia, también siempre olvido que cuando pones el adjetivo después del sustantivo, el significado cambia.