The team at language learning app, Babbel have put together common English words that mean something COMPLETELY different overseas. Here are just a few that could be very useful to know in advance:
If you find yourself in Spain or the Czech Republic and you’re looking for sushi – be careful not to ask for a tuna roll. The fishy favourite means cactus in Spanish or a tonne in Czech.
English: Tuna Spanish: atún Czech: tunák
If you happen to refer to someone as an angel in a complementary way or in terms of a spiritual being with wings and a long robe in Germany or the Netherlands, maybe think again. In German, Angel translates to ‘fishing rod’ and in Dutch it translates to ‘sting’.
English: Angel German: Engel Dutch: Engel
You might think you’re being kind by offering some a gift in Norway, but watch out! Gift in Norwegian means married, so you could be offering a lot more than you think.
English: gift Norwegian: give German: Poison
The derogatory term sometimes used by English speakers to describe a female with loose sexual morals actual means ‘End’ or ‘Final’ in Swedish, so don’t be surprised if you venture to a cinema in Sweden while on holiday and see SLUT appear on the final screen!
English: Slut Swedish: Slampa
Lets face it – whether you’d like to admit it or not, you might need to use this one! The vulgar word commonly used in English for intestinal gas means ‘good luck’ in Polish or ‘speed’ in Swedish. Oddly, in French fart translates to pet in English.
English: Fart Polish: pierdni?cie Swedish: Fisa
The English word commonly used when referring to food stuffs have a completely different meaning in France. Preservatif means condom in French!
English: Preservative French: conservateur
While some governments are trying to make smoking a thing of the past, the French definition of the word is totally different meaning tuxedo.
English: Smoking French: Fumeur
Watch out Gary’s of the world, if you introduce yourself and say ‘I’m Gary’ in Japan, it sounds like ‘I have diarrhoea’ in Japanese.
English: Gary Japanese: ????
Can you think of any other examples like these? Let us know below.
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