French and English Language Blunders

French and English Language Blunders

If you speak a second language you know that it can be frustrating and humiliating at times. 

We’ve all gotten the confused looks or a chuckle to something that came out wrong. 

At the time it can be embarrassing, but when we look back at these experiences, they can be quite funny.  

Well, this page is dedicated to all the funny things we’ve said in a second language.

I hope you get a few good laughs!  Enjoy!

Blunders made by French-second-language learners

Est-ce que c’est possible de manger mon bébé ici?
Translation: Can I eat my baby here?
The answer was obviously no. 

A lady wants to compliment someone’s tie but instead says:
“J’aime beaucoup votre crevette.”
Translation: I really like your shrimp.
Hmmm, thanks and I really like your lobster.

Pourquoi vous aimez travailler de chez vous?
“Parce que j’aime travailler dans mes shorts.”
Translation:  Because I like to play with myself (!)
Awkward moment here. 

Calling the dentist’s office to repair a tooth filling:
“J’ai besoin de faire réparer ma plomberie.”
Translation: I need to have my plumbing fixed.

An Anglophone kept hearing people talk about their “beautiful sister” or “beautiful brother” and wondered if French Canadians were all practicing incest.  Then, she later learned the word for “sister in-law” and “brother in-law”: “belle-soeur” and “beau-frère”.

When tasting free samples at Costco, a lady wanted to know if the Salmon was farmed or wild. 
She asked in her good French: “Est-ce que ce saumon est de la ferme?”
Translation: Is this Salmon from a farm? (In French, the word for “farmed” is “élévage”)
Yes, sure, we raise them in a barn and they get along well with the chickens. 

This is a personal experience of mine:
I was looking at an antique wardrobe just last week and I wondered if the paint could be easily stripped off. 
So, I asked: “Est-ce que c’est facile à décapoter?”
Translation: Does the roof easily retract?
Yes, you just press this button and the top of the wardrobe comes right off…

Blunders made by English-second-language learners

A lady is shopping for batteries for her camera.  She enters a store and asks the clerk,
“Do you have any pills for my camera?”
Traduction: Avez-vous des pillules pour ma caméra?
Oh, I’m so sorry that your camera is not feeling well. 

When someone was asked if she would donate her body to science she replied,
“I wouldn’t give my body but I would give my orgasms.”
Are you sure you don’t want to keep them for yourself?

I you have any funny second-language blunders or experiences to add,  please e-mail them to: 

isabelle.green@lifeinquebec.com

Thanks for reading!

Article: Isabelle Green

Categories: News

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