Friday, July 15, 2005

Tongue-Tied (rated PG)

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!

6 comments:

Heather A said...

Mary, Jenn and I got a huge laugh out of reading your blog together, even though we already heard the story today at lunch! :)

I'm not sure how you stumbled onto my blog, but I appreciate you coming by and posting comments. I think you may be one of my few readers! :)

JenniferReinsch said...

that is hysterical!!!!!

Kristi Martin said...

Hey Quireys! I got a great laugh out of your story! I'm sure I'll have lots of similar stories to share soon.

Court said...

Hi Val! Remember me? I remember you, especially through certain classes we took together, during which I recorded quite a few memorable statements by professors and fellow students alike... ;o)
I'm glad I found your blog through the Martins! I've wondered what you've been up to the last few years, and I'm looking forward to reading about missions life in a non-European country!
Thanks for the fun language story. Gave me a good chuckle for the evening. ;o)
Talk to you later,
Courtney

Valerie said...

Wow! People on at least three continents are laughing with me! (Or is it at me?) Glad to brighten your days! Today I had to ask how to say "bay". Duh, it's bahia, the name of our state!

And a big MTV-esque shout-out to you guys in Germany! I enjoy reading your blogs, too- it's interesting how similar and yet how completely different our experience are. Court, I would love to see that list of quotes if you still have it around! Kristi, good luck getting settled!

Robin G said...

My mom made the same mistake with the word "preservatives" with her friend, Sylvia, from Bulgaria. Sylvia went into the other room and looked up "preservatives" in her Bularian/English dictionary and they both had a good laugh too!!