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Peppered With Translation Errors

, , | Right | September 8, 2017

(We’ve just got in from our flight, and all we want to do is crash. Unfortunately, we’re also hungry. I look up a pizza place just down the street.)

Me: *on the phone* “Hallo. Können wir bitte ein Pizza haben?” *Hello. Can we please have a pizza?*

Pizza Man: *rapidly talks German but I catch the words, “Which kind?”*

Me: “Haben Sie Peperoni Pizza?” *Do you have pepperoni?*

Pizza Man: “Ja. Wie groß?” *Yes. How big?*

(The rest of the order goes okay, and I basically understand everything he says. When the pizza comes, however, it is not pepperoni. It has onions and peppers, and looks nothing like pepperoni pizza! I try talking to the guy, but we can’t seem to understand each other.)

Me: *thinking* “I’ll accept the pizza; it shouldn’t be that bad.”

(My mouth is on fire the rest of the night. I call my German mother to ask why this happened. She laughs at me for a solid minute.)

Mum: “I did the same thing when I was 13! I had just finished my stay in America, and I missed the pizza there. I asked the waitress for a pepperoni pizza. She was like, ‘Are you sure?’ She was so insistent, but I really wanted that pizza.”

Me: “So, you got a pepper pizza?”

Mum: “Yup! It was so spicy! You want salami pizza, dear. It’s a little saltier and less spicy than pepperoni, but it’s basically the same thing.”

Me: “Thank you so much!”

(I eventually learned to love German pizza, especially curry pizza, but I’ll never forget that first one!)

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