Bi-Lingual Perks + Pitfalls

by Sandy L on July 24, 2010

Let’s face it. It’s pretty darn cool when you’re talking right in front of someone and they have no idea what you’re saying.

Every once in a while though, you get busted. One day last summer, my mom and I stopped at the farmer’s market for “5 minutes because she needed just one thing.”  Well, one thing quickly turned into a 1/2 hour with no Babci in sight. When my patience ran out, I went looking for her and found her talking some woman’s ear off.  As if that wasn’t enough, when she saw me coming, she proceeded to cut 10 people in line to try  to pay for her sack of potatoes.

Trying to remedy the situation, I said in Polish “Hey Stupid, the end of the line’s over there.” Well wouldn’t you know the person she was talking to also spoke Polish (even though at the time, they were both speaking broken English to each other).  Oh man, was I mortified. I would have never said something like that to her in public and here I was busted for disrespecting my cute little ‘ol mom.

On a related note, Babci swears like a sailor. I think it’s pretty freeing for her to be able to say curse words in public without ever offending anyone.

So the moral of the story is that you never know who will be listening. Always assume your public conversations are being overheard..even if you speak a different language.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Everyday Tips July 25, 2010 at 1:53 PM

A friend of mine had a similar situation happen to her, except she was speaking in Hungarian. They actually became good friends after they cleared the air!
Everyday Tips recently posted..Why Do Some People Want Others To Fail


101 Centavos March 1, 2011 at 6:47 AM

Ain’t that the truth. In our stupider youth, my sister and I got caught once making rude comments about the posterior of one the women in front of us… without thinking that her companion could understand Italian quite well. In our defense, it was a frighteningly large rear end.


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