October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Category: Language & Words

This category features customers whose mishandling of vocabulary and grammar are so bad that we literally have no words to describe them!

Es-pwñ-ol, Part 3

| Newark, NJ, USA | Family & Kids, Language & Words, Technology

(I’m with my mother buying a pouch and a case for my brothers hand-held gaming system. I go off on my own to find some computer games. Not even five minutes later I return to my mom looking very flustered with an employee. My mother and I are Peruvian. She speaks Spanish and struggles with English.)

Me: *in Spanish* “Ma, are you okay?”

Mom: *in Spanish* “No, I can’t remember the stupid name for this s***. The thing that covers the DS for you brother, what is it?”

Me: *to the employee, in English* “Oh, my mom is looking for a cover for the 3DS. Do you have any?”

Employee: “Yes, I showed your mom the selection right here; these are the ones we have.”

Me: *in Spanish* “Ma, they only have these.”

Mom: *in Spanish* “No, this f****** idiot isn’t understanding me! I want the ones in foam because your brother keeps breaking the plastic ones.”

Employee: *in Spanish* “I’m sorry, ma’am, I know what you want. They’re over here at the next aisle.”

(My mom turned a deep shade of red and mumbled out an apology, saying she was flustered and couldn’t control her temper. I was laughing so hard because I’m always telling my mom that just because she thinks they can’t understand her Spanish and talks s***, doesn’t mean she won’t get caught!)

Es-pwñ-ol, Part 2

The Language Just Flows

| France | Hotels & Lodging, Language & Words

(My aunt and her family are in a hotel in France. We’re German, and she doesn’t really speak any French or English beyond a few words, just enough to get things hilariously wrong. She finds that their bathroom is missing its toilet brush (German word for brush: Bürste.) She decides to go to the reception desk to complain, only realising that she didn’t know all the English words for what she wanted to tell them.)

Aunt: “Toilet burst! Toilet burst! TOILET BURST!”

(The poor guy probably had visions of pure horror…)

Not So Nuts About The Innuendo

| Medford, MA, USA | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

(At our store, we have a rack of potato chips, peanuts, and other snacks that is a few steps away from the register. The customer puts a six-pack of beer on the counter, then steps away to grab something off the rack and comes back to the counter with some peanuts.)

Customer: “You really should put your nuts on the counter.”

Me: “I’m not sure how to respond to that.” *hoping he’d get how awkward it sounded, and laugh it off*

Customer: “I might grab them more often, if you did.”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “Yeah, they’re probably just fine right where they are.”

(I’m pretty sure this guy was just clueless about what he said and not actually hitting on me!)

The Oregon Fail, Part 3

| Germany | Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(I am in Germany on a school trip. I have never been before, nor do I speak German. I am currently with two of my friends talking about going out to dinner on the train platform.)

(A middle-aged man hurries up to me.)

Man: “Guten tag!”

Me: “…guten tag.”

Man: *over enunciating* “Do. You. Speak. English?”

Me: “…yeah?”

Man: “Oh, thank god. Everyone’s so unhelpful around here! How do I get from [rattles off a number of places in quick succession].”

Me: “I’m sorry…”

Man: *cutting me off angrily* “I thought you said you spoke English!”

Me: “I do. I just don’t know any of those places.”

Man: “Why the h*** not?!”

Me:” I’m from Oregon…”

The Oregon Fail, Part 2
From NotAlwaysRelated:
The Oregon Fail

Putting Up A Language Barrier

| Houston, TX, USA | Bizarre, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(I’m working at an information booth at an international airport. I notice a woman in line scolding her children in Spanish. I myself am Latina. When she comes up to the counter:)

Me: “¿En qué puedo servirle?” *How can I help you?*

Customer: “This is America. Speak English.”

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