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  • 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!

    There Is Norway I Can Understand You

    | Trondheim, Norway | Family & Kids, Language & Words, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (A young boy, about 12, is walking around confused.)

    Me: *in Norwegian* “Where are your parents?”

    Child: *clearly British* “Why the heck do people here assume I speak bloody Norwegian?”

    Me: *in English* “You’re in Norway.”

    Child: “Oh, yeah.”

    Getting To The Out Source Of The Matter

    | Tempe, AZ, USA | Language & Words, Technology

    Me: “Hello, you have reached [business name]. This is [name]. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “Oh, thank God! I was just talking to some mush mouth who couldn’t speak English right at all. You shouldn’t outsource; do your employers outsource? People can’t understand you when you outsource.”

    Me: “Well, I am sorry for that. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “I want my password. That mush mouth changed it, and now I can’t log in.”

    Me: “I am sorry, ma’am. May I have your ID and what you want your password to be?”

    Caller: “Just change it back to what it was.”

    Me: “Well, I apologize, but I can not do that. For security reasons we can not see a password, only set it to something else. I can set it to a default or anything you request.”

    Caller: “Well, I am requesting the old password. Just fix it.”

    Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but it’s impossible for me to know.”

    Caller: “Well, my internet knows. It tries to use the password. Just take it from that.”

    Me: “I can not take a password from your browser. If your login was working, why did you call to change your password?”

    Caller: “The news told me people can take that information and steal all your files, so I was worried.”

    Me: “Ma’am, your information is safe, I assure you.”

    Caller: “Then why can’t you just change my password back to ‘Password’?”

    Me: “Your old password was ‘Password’?”

    Caller: “Yes.”

    Fighting Ignorance With Ignorance, Part 2

    | NH, USA | Family & Kids, Language & Words

    (I am working in the clothing section of a department store when I overhear this conversation. Note: I work with a very nice woman who moved to America from India about ten years ago.)

    Mother: “Did you find everything you needed, hon?”

    Child: “Yep! A really nice Indian lady helped me.”

    Mother: “No, no! We don’t say Indian. We say ‘Native American.’”

    Child: “No, mom, not that kind of Indian. One from India!”

    Mother: “Don’t be silly, hon. We took their country from them, not gave them one.”

    Related:
    Fighting Ignorance With Ignorance

    Se Habla Japañol

    , | Springfield, MO, USA | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Top

    (I am taking orders on both lanes at the fast food restaurant. I already have other customers at the second window as someone pulls up to the menu board.)

    Customer: “Hablas español?” (“Do you speak Spanish?”)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I’ll be with you in just a minute.”

    Customer: “Hablas español?”

    (I say the only thing I know in Spanish.)

    Me: “Lo siento, pero no puedo hablar español. Solamente inglés o japonés.” (“I’m sorry, I don’t speak Spanish. Only English or Japanese.”)

    Customer: *in heavily accented English* “I SPEAK JAPANESE TOO!”

    Me: “Hontoo? Nihongo o hanasu?” (“Really? You speak Japanese?”)

    Customer: “Soo desu yo! Shichi-ban ga hoshii, nomimono wa Sprite desu!” (“Yes I do! I want a number 7 with Sprite!”)

    Me: “Nani mo ga hoshii?” (“Would you like anything else?”)

    Customer: “Chotto.” (“No thank you.”)

    Me: “Hai soo desu, shichi doru san juu sento onegaishimasu. Ni-ban me fune de gozaimasu.”

    (The other customers at the second window are still there with a flabbergasted look on their faces. I hand them their food.)

    Me: “Don’t ask, it’d take too long to explain. Have a nice night.”

    Other Customers: “Sayonara!”

    So Pho, So Crazy

    | London, UK | At The Checkout, Bigotry, History, Language & Words, Top

    (I am working the tills at a supermarket. I am of Vietnamese descent but was born in London. An older gentleman comes through my till.)

    Customer: *practically shouting* “Ni-Hao!”

    Me: “Hello to you to sir, but that’s Chinese. I am actually Vietnamese.”

    (I point to my name tag which in our shop goes by family name instead of first name. Mine is the very common ‘Nguyen’.)

    Customer: “Don’t lie!”

    Me: “I assure you sure I am Vietnamese.”

    Customer: “There aren’t any Vietnamese people left!”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “Yeah, the Americans killed them all back in the seventies or something.”

    Me: “I think you may have your history confused. I assure you there is still a Vietnam and it is full of Vietnamese people.”

    Customer: “Well I don’t know how you managed to escape but I wouldn’t say it so loudly. There might be Americans around looking for survivors.”

    Me: *as I ring up his last item* “Probably a good idea. That will be £10.34 please.”

    Customer: *as he pays* “Wouldn’t want a young lad like you getting caught!”

    (The customer heads towards the exit, but unfortunately notices the security guard who also happens to be my brother. He is 6ft tall and a body-builder and I dread what might happen.)

    Customer: “Ni-Hao!”

    Brother: “Actually I’m Vietnamese.”

    Customer: “Another one?! But the Americans wiped you all out!”

    Brother: *standing to full height* “I think you might want to just keep on walking.”

    Customer: “How dare you talk to me like that?! I’m going to call the Americans, and then they’ll come down here and shoot you!”

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