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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 No Voice Of Reason

    | Petaluma, CA, USA | Books & Reading, Language & Words

    Me: “Hi! Welcome to [electronics store]. What brings you in today?”

    Customer: “I need an electronic English to Spanish dictionary.”

    Me: “Okay, right this way.”

    Customer: “Does it talk?”

    Me: “No. We don’t sell translators here.”

    Customer: “This isn’t a translator?”

    Me: “It will translate English words to Spanish words, but it won’t speak them. It will only show you the text.”

    Customer: “Well, that’s stupid! If I knew how to speak the d*** language, I wouldn’t need the d*** dictionary!”

    Bi-Curiouser and Curiouser

    | Salem, NH, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words, Top

    (I am speaking Spanish to a customer at the register. I finish the transaction and see the next customer.)

    Customer: *speaking loudly and slowly* “Hello! I want to pay cash!”

    Me: “Find everything you need today?”

    Customer: “Wow so you can speak English and Spanish? I didn’t think you spoke any English”

    Me: “Yes, I’m bilingual”

    Customer: “Wow! So you speak two languages fluently and you’re gay?”

    Me: “No, just bilingual.”

    Customer: “I heard you the first time silly! Lots of gay pride in you, huh?”

    The Tower Of Babble

    | New Zealand | At The Checkout, Language & Words

    (Note: I am of Asian descent.)

    Me: “Good morning!” *starts scanning groceries*

    Customer: “Ni hao!”

    Me: “Oh, I’m not Chinese.”

    Customer: “Konnichiwa!”

    Me: “I’m not–”

    Customer: “Shalom!”

    Me: “Sir, that’s not even–”

    Customer: “Namaste!”

    *silence*

    Customer: “I know so many languages! So many!

    Clearer Than Black And White

    | Ireland | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    Customer: “Can I get a milkshake, please?”

    Me: “What flavor?”

    Customer: “Yeah.”

    Me: “What flavor?”

    Customer: “Yeah.”

    Me: “What flavor?”

    Customer: “Yes!”

    Customers friend: “She said what flavor.”

    Customer: “Oh, I thought she was saying ‘White flavor’. I just thought that’s what they call vanilla in their country!”

    Shogun The Way To Go Home

    | Tokyo, Japan | Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (I work at the local train station. Having spent half my life living in Los Angeles, and the other living in Tokyo, I speak both English and Japanese. The other station masters tend to bring tourists to me, since their English isn’t as good as mine. A tourist approaches me and speaks loudly, slowly, and with very large hand gestures)

    Tourist: “I’m trying to get to [station]! Can you help me?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. I actually grew up in Los Angeles, so I can speak English.”

    Tourist: *still speaking in the same way* “No, I’m not from Los Angeles! I’m trying to get to [station]!”

    Me: “No, ma’am, I just meant that I spent a lot of time in Los Angeles.”

    Tourist: “No! Not Los Angeles! [Station]!”

    (The woman’s husband, hearing his wife shouting, joins us.)

    Tourist’s Husband: *to his wife* “What’s going on?”

    Tourist: “This dumb guy keeps asking if we’re from Los Angeles!”

    Tourist’s Husband: “Why would he think that?”

    Tourist: “I don’t know!”

    Tourist’s Husband: *to me, speaking clearly, but not extremely slowly* “We’re trying to get to [station].”

    (I provide directions to the station.)

    Tourist’s Husband: “You speak English very well!”

    Me: “Thank you sir. As I tried to explain to your wife, I grew up in Los Angeles, so I speak English.”

    Tourist’s Husband: *sighs* “I’m sorry you had to put up with her. Thanks for the directions.”

    (As they are walking away, I hear the woman proudly tell her husband, “I told you those Japanese lessons we took would pay off!”)

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