An Italian fluff

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

Sent by:

Comments

Dewi, Wales 2011-08-06

I asked for an ice-cream flavour fish - pesce- when I wanted a peach -pesche-,flavour. The ice-cream vendor just held his nose and smiled.

Flag this comment

Steve, Canada 2011-04-14

I work in a bank in Canada and I had a friend of mine who was originally from Brasil. When she was working the front line, a customer was asking why their account was frozen (funds not available). She didn't quite get what the customer meant and after pondering it for a minute, she walked over to the manager and asked to have the account defrosted.

Flag this comment

Kris, Australia 2011-04-11

My cousin was in a cafe in Italy and thought she had asked for a salad roll with no meat (carne) but instead of meat she asked for a salad roll with "no dog" (cane)

Flag this comment

Anon, New York 2011-03-21

While visiting Rome a long time ago, I said in Italian that one of the best things about Italian gelato was that there weren't any preservatives in it. Unfortunately, 'preservativi' means condoms. I got a lot of startled looks before they realized the mistake and said next time I should say 'conservativi'! I'm very glad Italian gelato has none of the above.

Flag this comment

Barb, Canada 2011-02-20

When my mom moved from England to
Canada, she made the mistake at a dinner
party, to say to one of the guests "Would
you kindly knock me up in the morning".
His reply was "Gladly" and said with great
enthusiasm in his voice. My mom thought
his retort was a bit strange. In England,
you can have someone wake you up in the
morning by knocking on your door...kind of
a cheerio...time to get up...kind of gesture.
But, here in Canada, if you "knock someone up" it means to get them pregnant!!! This was an embarrassing
moment for my mom, one which was
never repeated again. So it goes to show
that even two people speaking English
but from different countries, can have major misunderstandings! i thought it
was a very humorous anecdote to her
introduction to the Canadian way-heh!

Flag this comment

Anonymous, Hong Kong 2011-01-07

My mother has lived in Italy for many years. As often happens she muddled her words one day and spent 20 minutes in a chemist asking for anti-wrinkle cream, when the girl in the shop looked confused she explained she liked to rub it on her face - trouble was, she was asking for anti-rust cream.

Flag this comment

Elisabetta, Scotland 2011-01-07

As an "italian abroad" I am writing a blog about all the silly mistakes I made along the way, it's interesting the others did the same while learning my mother tongue. I am loving this pages.

Flag this comment

Oksana, Ukraine 2010-12-14

When my friend went to Italy for the first time, she knew only a few phrases in Italian. She was walking around, coming into the shops, and when she found something she wanted to buy, she asked "Cosa nostra?" instead of "Quanto costa?". And after a number of attempts to buy something, she discovered her mistake.

Flag this comment

Maj-Britt Kent Hansen, Denmark 2010-11-14

My native language is Danish. In one of my early Italian lessons, I was asked to translate: "Dietro il bar sta il barista." I knew "barrister" from English. In Danish it means "advokat". So my Danish translation became: The barrister stands behind the bar". Lots of laughs!

Flag this comment

Nadine, Stroud 2010-11-11

I asked for a succo di pomeriggio once (afternoon juice) rather than succo di pomodoro (tomato juice). Got a rather puzzled look back before my sister noticed the error.

Flag this comment

Open/close

Get it right abroad

French Steps

French Steps

Get to grips with French in 12 weeks

Mi Vida Loca

Mi Vida Loca

Bafta-winning Spanish for Beginners' course

Talk German

Talk German

All-in-one beginners' course with refreshed video content

Italian Steps

Italian Steps

Master the basics in 12 weeks

Talk Greek

Talk Greek

Gentle introduction to basic Greek in 10 parts

Turkish Quick Fix

Quick Fix

Download 12 key Turkish phrases

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.