Multilingual People Share "They Didn't Know I Spoke Their Language" Stories
In this day and age never underestimate the power of language. Many, many people are fluent in three or more languages. You have no idea who is bilingual no matter where in the world you are. So beware of your "outside thoughts and voice" when in public. You may get into a little trouble. _
Redditor _\Trumpstered _**asked the Reddit world **\Multilingual Redditors, What is your "They didn't realize I spoke their language" story?
CAREFUL... PEOPLE ARE LISTENING...
Was on both ends as a deaf person myself.
On one side: This one time the cashiers at a store realized I was deaf, and so started talking to each other about me when they thought I wasn't looking... they also didn't know I had my hearing aids and could lipread. Their comments weren't anything too negative, it was mostly the typical comments about deaf people by people who were completely clueless about how deafness worked. When I brought my stuff to the checkout I kindly reminded them that it's a pretty bad idea to talk about somebody thinking that they can't understand what you're talking about... because the chances are that they do in fact understand what you're talking about. The look on their faces were completely classic.
On the other side: One time my best friend and I were people watching at the mall, and we randomly started rating the men around us. In sign language, of course. There was this one dude sitting near us and we start rating his looks and his body. I said that he looked like he had a nice butt, and that his eyes were really beautiful, with the color of the deep ocean. so I rated him a 10/10. Then he came over to us,and then told us in sign language: "Thanks for the compliments, ladies. you really made my day, haha." We were both so shocked and embarrassed. heh.
NOT SO LOUD!
I sort of have the reverse of this.
I am a white man from the UK, and whilst visiting Berlin was sat on on the S-Bahn facing a older (also white) lady.
On the other side of the carriage there were 4 gentlemen who where clearly eastern European / middle eastern. I think they were speaking Turkish but I'm not sure. The lady turns to me and says in German, something along the lines of _"Beschämend, innen Deutschland sprechen wir Deutsch" _(Shameful, In Germany we Speak German). Loud enough they were supposed to hear, clearly looking for me to agree with her.
To which I replied in my very broken German _"Ich bin English, mein Deutsch ist sehr schlecht" _or I'm English, my German is very bad. Her face went bright red.
DON'T BE AN A-HOLE!
This happened to my brother and father while they were traveling. Some dude walks up to my brother, thinking he is a local, and starts talking to him in Farsi. When he realized my brother didn't understand, started saying really rude things, about him and my dad being stupid. My dad (fluent in Farsi) comes over, and rips this a-hole a second one. The dude feigned being apologetic, and made excuses for his attitude. As he was walking away, he started muttering more foul things about them, but in Turkish this time. Dad speaks Turkish as well, and proceeds to rip him a third a-hole.
GRANDMA DON'T PLAY!
I was on a tour bus with my grandmother going to a luau in Hawaii, my grandmother spoke fluent Italian as both her parents were Italian immigrants. Two young women behind us were speaking to each other in Italian, probably assuming none of the other tourists could understand them. My grandmother told me (I don't speak but a few words in Italian) that they were insulting everyone on the bus. She let it go on a while but just kept getting angrier and angrier as the ride went on. Finally she turned around and told them off, telling them they should be ashamed of themselves for being so rude. They looked so embarrassed and apologized to her profusely. Getting told off by a grandmother on a tour bus was not what they expected.
I HEAR YOU...
Hearing girl here.
I was looking for something in Target and asked an employee for help. She was busy stocking shelves and I kept trying to verbally get her attention. When she finally noticed me she mouthed, "I'm Deaf."
I set my stuff down to free up my hands, introduced myself, and asked her where what I was looking for was in American Sign Language. Her face completely lit up, and I'll never forget it.
Communication is major for Deaf people because they are unfortunately often excluded from the hearing world, which is probably why this lady reacted the way she did. Though this was minor, it made a huge impact on me. This instance made me fall in love with sign language all over again and realize how communication is a basic human right that many people do not have or have limited access to.
CHECK AND MATE!
Was in Germany, and a middle school teacher asked me to come in as a guest for one of her English classes. The teacher introduced me, I said hello and that I was from the U.S. and happy to be in their class.
The teacher said "So do you have any questions in English for an American? What do you think an American is like?"
One of the kids near the front says in german, kind of under his breath but definitely loud enough that most of the class can hear, "fat and stupid!"
The kids laugh, the teacher turns bright red. I don't know what to do, so I just say "Of course, many Americans can speak German" in German.
The kid almost pooped himself. He looked like a baby deer that had wandered onstage at a Beyonce concert.
I thought he was just being a dick and had intended me to understand what he was saying. Apparently though he actually hadn't thought through that an American in Germany in their language class might actually speak their language.
SAVE THE PILLOW TALK...
I'm fluent in Spanish and was in a bank line in Lima the capital of a South American City and these two early middle aged women were in front of me have a mostly quiet chat. One was telling the other about this new young guy at work she was banging and describing all the crazy sex they were having, going into detail about all sorts of stuff.
The other wanted to know what he looked like and she was kind of describing him badly, and she kinda did a sly look around the bank, waited a few seconds and said in Spanish: "_he looks like this guy behind us, but with blonde hair, much better looking and a much better dresser." _She did a good job of not gesturing towards me when she said it, but it didn't stop me from hearing it.
So she goes back to discussing details about hooking up with him at work and they don't notice the line has moved, and so without a warning throat clear I just say: "we all love the details back here but can you move forward?"
She went white as a ghost and they didn't really talk for the rest of the wait, it was hilarious
I LOVE RICE!
The people at the Chinese food place on my campus spoke Chinese to the door exchange students. But even tho I spoke Chinese I just always spoke English to them since I have an accent when I speak Chinese. But one day I got all meat no rice since I had a rice maker at home. And when I was paying the lady says to the person beside her _"fat butt wants meat no rice." _And I responded in Chinese, _"actually I have rice at home."_ They didn't charge me for the order and started giving me a bit extra whenever I go there
LOVE THE HIGH DRAMA!
I went to a psychiatric emergency ward once and asked for help and if they were comfortable to speak English.
I understand Danish but have a hard time making myself understandable in it and didn't really feel like an idiot at a crucial time of my life.
I stayed there for 4 days without anyone realising I knew what they were saying about me right in front of me.
2 of the nurses thought I was cute.
1 doctor thought I was lying all the time.
A patient thought I was a spy for the staff.
A lot happened in those 4 days
It made my stay way more enjoyable then it should have been.
EAT THAT BAKLAVA!
A lady on the bus was being a b**** and slagging people off in Greek until she got to me. She was being excessively nasty about my chipped nail varnish, I don't know either maybe she was having a bad day. As soon as I clocked it I turned around and looked her dead in the eye with my very Greek face and she stopped. She then sat in the seat in front of me where I sat and called my mom, also Greek, who I had a conversation with for the duration of the bus journey about the rude lady who slagged my nails off because she thought I couldn't understand, in Greek. It was delicious.
Some jobs really don't serve a purpose to society, or they are a relic of times past that society has yet to say goodbye to.
Spam Spam<p>The person whose job it is to send physical spam mail. Nobody even reads it anymore.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Random_Fangirl888/" target="_blank">Random_Fangirl888</a></p><p>My wife went to med school and her student loans are all federal and are at 0% interest and are in forbearance right now. At least once a week she gets a letter from SoFi to refinance her loans which would make her ineligible for any sort of loan forgiveness or federal assistance. So much wasted paper and postage sending those letters.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/schu2470/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">schu2470</a></p>
Stuck In The Middle W You<p>In my experience: A large percentage of middle management. Usually they just wind up inventing fake work reports so they can appear to be adding value.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/PasteTank/" target="_blank">PasteTank</a></p><p>My company is trying to cut costs, and thankfully some of the layoffs and unfilled vacancies have been middle management. It makes me wonder what their purpose was in the first place? I swear management makes new management positions to give their work to.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/C0PPER13/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">C0PPER13</a></p>
Grumble Grumble<p>My MIL tells me that during the days of the USSR there were people who sat at desks at the entrances of subway stations. They didn't actually do anything, but that was their job since by law for a while in the Soviet Union everyone needed to have a job.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/heybrother45/" target="_blank">heybrother45</a></p><p>Their job is to be unhelpful and surly. Those jobs still exist in some post-Soviet countries.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/jtbc/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">jtbc</a></p>
Jogging Doggos<p>Driving around Las Vegas I passed a mobile dog treadmill service. They come to your house and let your dog walk on a treadmill inside a Sprinter van.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/jesset60819/" target="_blank">jesset60819</a></p><p>idk i can see the value in this. las vegas can easily get over 100 degrees F outside, not guaranteed safe to walk a dog in that, could overheat or burn their paws. and not everyone wants a treadmill in their house</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/PizzaQuest420/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">PizzaQuest420</a></p>
Yeah, Why?<p>Bathroom attendant. Elevator operator. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/openletter8/" target="_blank">openletter8</a></p><p>Imma dispute Bathroom attendants by saying, their actual job is to keep drunks form trashing the stalls, the whole towels and mints shebang is to give them something to do on the meantime</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Maycrofy/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Maycrofy</a></p>
I Am The Captain Now<p>Casino Barge Captain.</p><p>Many places in the US have riverboat casino laws that are used to justify large casino barges that are tethered in position and never move, not even having any engines or other means of conveyance. </p><p>Since they are technically barges despite being immobile they are legally required to have a Captain certified to operate vessels of that tonnage and crew on board at all times of operation.</p><p>I can't imagine a more gravy position than "exist on the premises with your piece of paper"</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Umbrella_merc/" target="_blank">Umbrella_merc</a></p>
You May NOT Touch Your Gas<p>For the states that require it, the gas station employees that fill up your tank. I ended up in New Jersey and it was super awkward.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/DaveyJonas/" target="_blank">DaveyJonas</a></p><p>Saw this woman standing next to her SUV for ten minutes at the gas station. Finally she asks me why no one is pumping her gas for her. So I says to her "We hate you cause you're from New Jersey." </p><p>She looks at me amazed and asks how we can tell. Eventually I let her in on the joke and helped her pump her gas. She was in her 40s, had she never driven out of NJ before?</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/damasu950/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">damasu950</a></p>
Up And Down<p>Elevator Operator. It's a union job. A dude sits in a chair next to the buttons. He asks you what floor you want to go to and he pushes the button.</p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Real_Time_Delay/" target="_blank">Real_Time_Delay</a></p><p>SF hired elevator operators for the subway stations. They're only there to ensure people don't piss on the elevators... which they would otherwise do.</p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/tyinsf/" target="_blank">tyinsf</a></p>
Sell Sell Sell!<p>Car sales people. Because you end up dealing with the sales manager when you actually purchase the vehicle. Car sales people can't even give you a price without checking with sales manager. They are literally there to babysit you.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Aroon164/" target="_blank">Aroon164</a></p>
Life doesn't come with a blueprint, instructions, nor a roadmap of what to expect in the days and years ahead. It does, however, contain all kinds of people who've lived life for longer than you.
Until It's Breezy<p>"Study to the point where the tests seem like they're insulting your intelligence. Best calc professor Ive had" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gthzyk0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Fruooop</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"That's a really good way of putting it. I'll have to remember that."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Something I've read in the past, that's sort of similar: 'Don't just study until you *can* get the questions *right*. Study until you *can't* get the questions *wrong*.' " -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gtj84pl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">skullturf</a></p>
Stock Up First<p>"Pay your savings account FIRST."</p><p>"Don't wait until the day before you get paid to move the left overs into an account."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gthl3w1?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">FrostyRain5286</a></p>
Actions, not Words<p>"Anyone can replace you in the job you do. It's not your job to boast about how irreplaceable you are, but to prove to them that they don't WANT to replace you."</p><p>"There's a difference." </p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gti7zi9?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">[deleted]</a></p>
The Cardinal Directions<p>" 'When it's her moment stand behind her. When she's nervous stand beside her. When she's scared stand in front of her. The rest you'll figure out.' - My Grandmother on women" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gthtx99?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">WholeMilkStandard</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I love your grandma!!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gtjky5h?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Neverthelilacqueen</a></p>
Keep Rage At Bay<p>"From my friend's late father, a wise old man from Trinidad:"</p><p>"Any man can get your goat, if you let him know where your goat is tied."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gthmelk?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">JimmyBallocks</a></p>
Check Your Sources<p>"Don't take criticism from someone you wouldn't take advice from" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gthtigw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">thehotdeskpodcast</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Well that rules out like 98% of the people I interact with." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gti82zo?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">MrEngin33r</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Thank you. No need to give our power away." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gtjihka?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">kittanjaan</a></p>
People Are Not Psychics<p>" 'You have to ask for what you want from people, make your position clear.' "</p><p>"Don't just assume people know what your problem is, communication is key. It is great for relationships, work, friendships, school and even playing team sports or video games."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gti4ssq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SuecidalBard</a></p>
Let It Go<p>" 'You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. If words can control you, that means everyone can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.' "</p><p>"It's easier said than done, but it's 100% true."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gthmxbc?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">mytwoquarters</a></p>
Give More Love<p>"Don't be afraid to show gratitude. I don't know why, but for most of my life I was embarrassed to reach out and thank people for a variety of things." </p><p>"I'd say 'thanks' to stuff like everyone does. But feeling comfortable giving specific and thoughtful expressions of gratitude has been a journey well worth taking."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gtikmwh?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">wtfreddititsme</a></p>
Comparative Suffering Doesn't Work<p>" 'It doesn't matter if someone has it worse than you, you're still having a hard time and that makes your problems valid and gives you the right for help.' " -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gtjac08?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BenaBenaBadBad</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I remember one similar to this that was like 'just because someone else is in a full body cast, it doesn't mean that your broken arm doesn't hurt' " -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gtl6ln4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">UnwaveringBear</a></p>
A school is supposed to be a place for educating and care for children.
Probably Shouldn't Be Around Kids Anymore<p>There's telltale signs when a person most likely shouldn't be around children. The following stories are those educators who should maybe consider a job doing something else. </p>
Unable To Keep Her True Thoughts Together<p>The one at a private school who broke down crying yelling "You're all f-ck-ups!" to the class and stormed out. </p><p>She was hired just out of college and didn't last long.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtoz53w?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">dougiebgood</a></p>
Silly Rules Which Benefit No One<p>A 6th grade teacher.</p><p>She was very mean to all the students and not just from our perspective. She was very particular about how things were done and in many ways it was unfair.</p><p>Example:</p><p>We were not allowed to take our sheets out of the three ring binder to write on them. The problem is, I'm left handed, so the rings were in the way of my hand and then she would yell at me for my handwriting.</p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtp5fke?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">AntiqueStatus</a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtp5fke?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3"></a>
Taking Personal Issues Into The Classroom Way Too Far<p>Had this one teacher who'd hit me for almost no reason. Found out years later she had problems with my mum at the time</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtox0ae?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">tattooedbutemployed</a></p><p>Wait why didn't your mom file a lawsuit because of this?</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtq228k?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">Yung_Mulann365</a></p><p>This was pretty normal where I grew up. (Really small Pacific island, rather not say exactly) Disciplining your kids in and out of the house was normal. Like every morning all us kids had to line up in front of the classroom with our hands out. If our fingernails were too long or dirty, you get hit with ruler. </p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtq461w?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">tattooedbutemployed</a></p>
Enacting Improper Teaching Procedures<p>Becoming a decent teacher means taking hours of training, attending professional development classes, and doing everything you can to try to perfect your craft.</p><p>Or you might encounter one of these individuals leading a class with their less than stellar skills. <br></p>
Classic Awful Behavior<p>Ms C, sixth grade.</p><p>She would frequently body shame kids she didn't like and she was racist AF I was the only Asian in class and she would openly say things like, "what breed of dogs do you think is the delicious-est?" There was only one white kid in class and whenever he did something kinda dumb, she'd say, "What a white person thing to do."</p><p>She had no respect for other people's privacy and would openly announce grades. There was a dyslexic student who got poor grades and she would mock her for that.</p><p>She would never actually teach the class, she'd literally just rant about her life. She'd gossip about the other teachers and she was just a b-tch.</p><p>Did I mention she was a toxic feminist with a hatred for men?</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtp46ps?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">PuppyCumMeowMeow</a></p>
Little Reason For Choices<p>Social Studies teacher in 6th grade. I worked incredibly hard on a project for National History Day and she pulled me aside, threw it in the trash and said she'd be ashamed to put her name on it. Still makes me mad to this day.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtp7hz5?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">SnugBear</a></p>
Inappropriate Disciplinary Behavior<p>Had a woodworking teacher that used to lock disruptive students in a closet/room. Think he got fired for locking a girl in there. </p><p>Also had a teacher in primary school that whacked the class clown over the head with one of those old wooden 1m rulers and It snapped</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtp7epu?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a><a target="_blank">Existing_Lettuce_639</a></p>
Being Too Much Of A Creeper<p>Then there's those teachers we've encountered who...</p><p>Well, just take a look. </p>
Maybe Don't Talk About Boys' Willys?<p>Mrs. Thomson, fourth grade. She was a Brit who was always going on about how boys shouldn't let their "willy" do the thinking. I didnt even know what a "willy" was.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtp1evk?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">ChaseDonovan</a></p>
What A Jerk<p>My History teacher in 9th grade. 1970's style, grey chest pubes popping out of his shirt with a gold necklace entangled in them. well over the line of obese but still not waddling. This was right after 9/11, so we all had to wear IDs around our necks and he'd always stare at girls' boobs saying he was checking ID. He used to give me detention if I walked in the class when the bell was ringing, but if anyone showed up after me it was fine. Made it a point to give me a hard time and belittle me in class, and I even had a meeting about it with him with out principal. Nothing happened of course because he'd been working there for 20 years. </p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtozbsj?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">mmm-pistol-whip</a><br></p>
Wait Until Your Personal Time<p>The one who got sacked for watching porn in his lunch break at school</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtowryd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">CupperT2</a></p>
Human bodies are weird, man. And at times, they're completely unexplainable. Like, I can link my arms and bring them around my body all the way, without letting go. Don't ask me how I figured it out, but weird, right?!