It pays to know another language. Being bilingual can open many doors.
It's also pretty useful for eavesdropping, not that we're endorsing that.
"Those that are bilingual, what have you heard from others that don't realize you can understand them?" –– This was today's burning question from Redditor chandicat, and we're truly astonished by the things people say when they think they can hide behind a language barrier!
"Am ethnically Chinese..."
Am ethnically Chinese but grew up learning German.
I was in Germany for student exchange and attended a dorm party one night. Two German guys at the party started flirting with me and openly discussed who would be able to sleep with me that night.
Played dumb and rejected both their advances. A week later at another party I conversed with other friends in fluent German in front of them. Their expressions were priceless.
"No one was offended..."
Very innocent comment towards my Dad, but regardless they clearly didn't think I could understand them. I once overheard some middle aged guys say that my Dad looks like "the oldest kid from The Brady Bunch if he grew up" in Spanish. My dad was down the aisle getting something and I was manning the cart and they were semi near me. I just start laughing because my mom had a crush on Greg from The Brady Brunch as a kid,so it was perfect! Even my Dad's name is Greg!
No one was offended, but the guys did look scared for a minute.
It happens to me all the time because I look middle-eastern when I'm really hispanic. I was working at a coffee shop and two hispanic men came in talking mad shit about our food and confused about the menu. Right in front of me the guy's like "Lets ask this guy" "This guy? What's this camel gonna know about anything here" (I guess camel is a slur for middle eastern or something?) I responded in Spanish and it was back-pedal o'clock.
"In high school I spoke Spanish fairly well..."
In high school I spoke Spanish fairly well. It was not common for that time and for my area.
A family was buying groceries, and as I was ringing up the items the father said "he has not seen the stuff on the bottom, don't get it."
I rank up what was on the belt, and sat there, after a few moments I asked about the stuff on the bottom. They would not look at me for the next 2 mins or so of the transaction.
"Sometimes my students..."
Sometimes my students forget I speak Russian, and start saying stuff that is way inappropriate for English class. The best was when this one boy, who always finishes his work early and fidgets around with things, was pretending to swallow a pencil. Another boy, who thinks he's very funny, said in Russian, "I always knew you could deep-throat."
That kid turned a beautiful color when I reminded him I could understand.
"I am half English..."Giphy
I am half English and half French. When I was 19 I used to run a football class for a summer school in my hometown in England.
My dad was the modern language teacher of the private school which lead me to be pretty knowledgeable about how things worked. When walking through the street at the end of school term some French exchange students asked me for a cigarette. I don't smoke so I told them as much and I carried on. I got 5 meters down the street before one said "eh merci fils de pute". This means oh thanks son of a b!tch.
I turned back and asked them to repeat themselves. They apologised and were really suprised and also extremely embarrassed.
Not nearly as shocked as when they turned up to gym class for their first summer class and I was their teacher...
"I took a youth group to Six Flags..."
I took a youth group to Six Flags. We had extra tickets from a couple of no-shows, so I decided to scalp them.
A Korean family walked up and I made my pitch. They conferred together in Korean. I'm a white guy, but I lived in rural Korea for a year and bargained with a lot of shopkeepers, so I knew their counter-offer and what they were willing to pay before they announced it in English.
"I was in NYC..."
I'm French. I was in NYC, on top of the Empire State Building and a young couple was standing next to me admiring the view, the guy turns to his gf and says in French "ahh I need to sh*t so bad". I couldn't not laugh.
I'm Dutch and my GF is Hungarian.
I went to meet her parents for the first time at Christmas a couple of years back and my GF suggested that I should learn a couple words like: Hello, how are you. Those kind of things.
I took it a step further and got a lot of help from 2 workmates, just to surprise my girlfriend and parents.
When we got there, her father was not so keen of me being not Hungarian.
He was saying some things to my girlfriend like "How will we ever communicate?" and "It's such a shame that you couldn't find someone who is Hungarian or at least speaks it".
I look at my GF, then calmly responded to her dad that although my Hungarian isn't the best, I will learn it for them because now they are my family too. I also thanked then for having me over and asked my GF's dad that I hope that one day he can accept me for who I am as a "Outsider" as how he likes to call it.
The moment I did say that, he teared up and said that no one ever did some much for his daughter and his family in this way and he appreciates it very much.
After that, A bottle of Palinka appeared on the table and from that moment on I don't remember much from that night.
Now several years later, me and my GF's dad are really close although we live at the other side of Europe.
Soon I will go again to Hungary for Christmas, And now I am planning to ask him for his daughter's hand.
I hope I will pronounce it correctly.