28 February, 2011

Je Komt what???!!

I know it's been discussed ad nauseum on many other expat blogs, but I'm going to rehash it again for my own pleasure:  Embarrassing language mistakes.

Now, I make a lot of mistakes.  I can barely sting a sentence together in Dutch at times.  But I give it a go, and that's the main thing, right?  People don't speak back to me in English, they don't look at me as if I'm foreign, and they don't make fun of my accent (thank goodness, but apparently I sound like Princess Maxima - not a bad comparison if I do say so myself).  My most memorable embarassing language mistake was earlier this year.  Let me set the scene for you:

New year's day.  Full inlaw brigade, including the grandies over for oliebollen and boerenkool (yummy deep fried dough balls, and cabbage with gravy and smoked sausage).  We're all sitting around the table and talking about how awesome my Dutch is (obviously I'm making the subject up here), when I try describing something I've done by saying "Ik kom klaar...." 

I realised that I had made a god-awful mistake by the look on Maarten's face and the silence around me, but had no clue.  Maarten then leaned in and asked me if I knew what I'd just said.  Erm, obviously not.  What I found out next was that ik kom klaar is Dutch for "I'm coming," and not in the 'wait up I'll be there in a sec' context, but more in the When Harry Met Sally context.

Really.

In front of the grandparents.

Who are 80 plus.

I wanted to die.

I don't know what made the family laugh harder:  that I'd given away my bedroom secrets or my own reaction to having given them away!

What's your most embarrassing mistake?  Go on, see if you can top that one.  Bet you can't.

9 comments:

Gina∞Lilly said...

Bwahahaha!

Connie said...

Yup, this is good.....funny good :) Hilarious good....omg I've laughed myself into "being ready" :) :) LOL ! :) Mine of course was the "gefeliciteerd" when someone's father died...yup, that wasn't pretty.

MissNeriss said...

Oh Connie, that's wonderful! I was so heavily warned about doing that in dutch classes that I'm terrified of anyone dying. I just junie I'm gonna do it too!

Ley said...

Hallo, MissNeriss!!!
I've been following your blog since I started the process to come to Nederlands too and this post made me laugh a lot... considering also that I am always afraid to say any sentence with "Ik kom..." cus I never know when I am saying "I am coming" in the sexual way... That would be embarrasing!
And with the word "geel" and "geal"... my pronunciation is not the best so I have to be carefull when I want to say "I am yellow" not "hot"!

Anonymous said...

heh heh, I also made a classic mistake by telling my neighbour there was a big 'dickhead' under the garden table, instead of hedgehog...

Sarah said...

I went on a big rant in Danish telling people how bad preservatives were, how they are infiltrating our food more and more, how they can contribute to weird behaviour... then shut up as people started laughing. I had been talking about condoms (præservativer) not preservatives (konserveringsmidler)

Aledys Ver said...

Hilarious!!! :D I can imagine the faces around you!
I once went to the Kruidvaat to buy some breasts for myself. Instead of asking for a "borstel" I asked for a "borst" :D

Invader_Stu said...

Hehehe. Brilliant. I know how you feel. I've done things like that too.

Valentijn said...

I haven't done anything too silly yet, but I get a giggle every time my fiance calls political conservatives "preservatives" :-)

What we are talking about

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