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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!

    In A Tsary State

    | Queens, NY, USA | Language & Words, Top

    (Two women come into my grandpa’s locksmith shop and are saying really obnoxious things in Russian.)

    Woman 1: “Careful, I think he may speak Russian.”

    Woman 2: “That oaf? No way.”

    Woman 1: “Maybe he does.”

    Woman 2: “He doesn’t.”

    Grandpa: *in Russian* “He does.”

    Incheon Further Away From The Answer, Part 2

    | Los Angeles, CA, USA | Language & Words

    (I’m an Asian Spanish/English interpreter in charge of taking care of our Spanish speaking custumers. I approach a Mexican customer.)

    Me: “Good afternoon. How may I help you?”

    Customer: “Oh my god, you speak Spanish!”

    Me: “Yes I do, it’s a service provided by our store for your convenience. How can I help you today?”

    Customer: “But you’re Chinese!”

    Me: “I’m actually Korean born and raised in Argentina, so it’s easier for me to speak in Spanish.”

    Customer: “That’s not possible! Chinese people only speak Chinese!”

    Me: “I assure you I’m not Chinese and cannot speak Chinese at all.”

    Customer: “But…but Chinese people should speak Chinese!”

    Related:
    Incheon Further Away From The Answer

    Bread And Prejudice

    | Ireland | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Religion

    Customer: “Can I have a ham and cheese sandwich please?”

    Me: “Would you like that on white or brown bread?”

    Customer: “I don’t mind. I’m not prejudiced.”

    Me: “You’re not… prejudiced?”

    Customer: “Not at all, sure the other day I ate some ‘properdoms’!” (That’s how she pronounced papadums – the flat crunchy bread you get in Indian restaurants.) “They were lovely.”

    Me: “Oh good. Now what type of bread would you like?”

    (At this point a woman of another ethnicity that had been served by my co-worker leaves. Suddenly, this customer becomes visibly relieved.)

    Customer: “Give me some good, God-fearing white bread!”

    Flipping Through The Atlas

    | San Jose, CA, USA | Language & Words, Top

    (I am Filipino, but people often mistake me for Chinese due to my pale skin. Another Filipino co-worker comes in while I am working with a customer. We exchange greetings in Tagalog, a Filipino language with some Spanish influences.)

    Customer: “Say that again. That thing you said to that other guy.”

    Me: “Kumusta?”

    Customer: “‘Cómo está’. That’s Spanish! What does a Chinese dude need to know Spanish for?”

    Me: “Actually, I–”

    Customer: “Say something else in Spanish!”

    Me: “Sir, I don’t speak Spanish very well.”

    Customer: “Come on! Say something!”

    Me: “Vamanos?”

    Customer: “Wow! Hey, do you speak Chinese?”

    Me: “Sorry, no.”

    Customer: “Come on now! You must know some Chinese!”

    Me: “Uh… I don’t know… ‘Ni hao’?”

    Customer: “Now say something in Japanese!”

    Me: “Sir?”

    Customer: “Japanese!”

    Me: “Arigato?”

    Customer: “Now do Russian!”

    Me: “Vodka?”

    If At First You Don’t Succeed, Thai Again

    | Ontario, CA | Hotels & Lodging, Language & Words

    Guest: “Kamsamnida!”

    Me: “Excuse me sir?”

    Guest: “Did I not pronounce that right? Kamsamnida! It means ‘thank you’ doesn’t it?”

    Me: “Oh! I’m sorry, I’m Taiwanese, not Korean.”

    Guest: “Oh! I’m so sorry! Wow! Taiwanese eh? Is Thai food good? I’ve always wanted to try Thai food! Teach me how to say ‘Thank you’ in Thai?”

    Related:
    If At First You Don’t Succeed, Chai Again

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