Well, it finally happened. I made a huge language blunder. Last week I told Jaci, our teacher, how excited we were that Rachel Perkins had made brownies for us. She had never heard of them and loves chocolate so I had the perfect excuse to use my oven! I baked a nice batch of brownies last night and brought them to class today to eat during our break time.
After the break, we were talking further about brownies. I told Jaci that I have seen brownies here in Salvador, both fresh and packaged. I tried to explain that packaged brownies aren't as good because they have so much other stuff in them. The English word I was thinking of was "preservatives". I guessed that this was a cognate and just changed the ending and said I don't like all the preservativos in packaged brownies. As soon as I said it, I realized my mistake. (If I hadn't realized right away that I'd said something wrong I would have quickly figured it out by looking at Jaci's face!) Preservativos is the word for condoms. I was looking for the word conservante. (For the record, I don't like either one in my brownies!) It took about five minutes for us to stop laughing. I'm a little relieved though- I know that making big and embarrassing mistakes is an inevitable part of language learning so I'm glad to finally have the first one out of the way!