Multilinguals 'They Didn't Realize I Could Speak Their Language' Experiences
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.
As a Spanish speaker—hooray for growing up in a bilingual household!—I have always been rather humored by moments when people were talking about me... under the impression that I didn't know what they were saying.
Imagine their faces once I proved them wrong!
Those who speak any other language have undoubtedly had a similar experience at least once.
People shared their stories with us after Redditor 64eight asked the online community,
"Multilinguals, what's your 'They didn't realise I could understand their language' story?"
"I was in Germany..."
"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."
I bet they were shocked! What a power move.
"My dad was down the aisle..."
"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."
I bet they were scared. Must have given you quite a laugh!
"I responded in Spanish..."
"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 s**t 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."
Serves them right, if you ask me. Hopefully they learned a valuable lesson.
"In high school..."
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 rang 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."
Few places can inspire interactions like this more than the supermarket checkout line!
"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."
A secret skill! Look at you go. Oh to be a fly on the wall and see their reactions!
"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 s**t so bad". I couldn't not laugh."
Can't blame you! One of the best things about knowing another language is catching moments like that.
"I was solo traveling..."
"I was solo traveling in Morocco. I'm 22, female and speak Arabic enough to understand conversations, basic words and phrases, etc. I was trying on clothes at a small shop and there were two women helping me choose what to try on."
"They started talking about me in Arabic, saying how I would be a great wife for one of the lady's sons. They were going on and on, and as I was leaving I responded in Arabic, "No thank you, but I appreciate your help," and they were stunned."
Good thing you could speak enough to get by! You could have been in an awkward situation!
"Oh, the cooks..."
"Oh the cooks at my job still don't know I'm fluent in Spanish. Yes, I know everything you're saying, Alejo."
Restaurants must be full of juicy drama and you have heard all of it!
"My wife is Indian..."
"My wife is Indian and her family speaks Gujarati. I've spent many years trying to pick it up and have found it to be very difficult as there are no great resources that I am aware of to learn it. You just have to listen and try to guess the context."
"Anyway, over the years I've gotten pretty good, and when my wife's aunt was visiting from India she went right in to my wife about how much weight I'd gained and how bad my diet must be."
"I understood every word and stopped her about two minutes into her rant. Turns out it didn't stop her from continuing."
She didn't even stop? Boundaries much?
If you happen to know another language, you pretty much have a secret superpower at your disposal! People will think twice about what they say around you, as they should.
Have stories of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
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Everyone has insecurities.
Be it speaking in public, wearing beach attire, or even one's profession, very few people don't have at least one topic of conversation that is bound to make them red in the face.
Some people are pretty adept at hiding their discomfort and can manage to persevere through their phobias with their dignity intact.
Others are not so lucky and often go to great lengths to hide their insecurities, only to make them even more apparent.
"What screams 'I’m insecure'?"
The Wisest People Are Those Always Willing To Learn
"When people are unable to admit that they don’t know something."- slimytoadsnot listening no way GIFGiphy
Other People's Success Are Not Your Failures
"Mocking someone else's achievement."- SuvenPan
Never Pick Yourself Up By Taking Others Down
"Belittling others."- Term-Haunting
"Always talking badly about others and trying to make them look weak/bad."- PildithThe Simpsons GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Maybe Honesty Isn't Always The Best Policy...
"When you're quick to be 'brutally honest' with others, but have a meltdown when someone does it back to you."-eF240uKX52hp
Not As Funny As They Think...
"People who tear other people down as a joke but then get mad when they get it handed back to them."
"Clearly they either aren’t joking or are too sensitive to be dishing out sh*t."- babythrottlepop
Being On Top Adds More Possibilities Of Falling Down...
"Trying to one-up people in every conversation."- Flanky_Bwai
"One upping people in conversation."
"If I tell you I had a great trip to X place, I don’t need to hear about your better trip to someplace else that’s ostensibly 'better'."- I_Am_The_Grapevinekristen wiig television GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
Some Things Speak For Themselves...
"Constantly saying what kind of person you are."
"If you were, you wouldn’t have to tell us."- ubereddit
A Little Contrition Goes A Long Way...
"Making excuses and even twisting the facts but never apologize."- SuvenPan
But Enough About Me, What Do You Think Of Me?
"Constant projection and self-serving compliments."- nhabzLook At Me Kiki GIF by The Bachelor AustraliaGiphy
What Are They Even Trying To Prove?
"Revving your vehicle loudly every time you pass another person."- msnmck
Superior By Association
“'You will address me by my husband’s rank!'”- Psychological-Stay16
"Elaborate Instagram and Facebook posts declaring love for one’s significant other over and over and over."- jbmaunHappy Married At First Sight GIF by LifetimeGiphy
Always Needing Validation
"People who can’t think or feel anything without being told that it’s okay to do so."- Diesel07012012
It's sad that so many people think the only way to overcome something which makes them embarrassed or afraid is by embarrassing or demeaning others.
When being open and honest about your insecurities might, instead, result in your finding common ground with others.
And making new, lifelong friends in the process.
People Confess Which Things From Their Childhood They Thought Were Normal Until They Were An Adult
Every family has customs or traditions which are unique to them.
Be it all gathering together to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol every Christmas eve or an annual fried chicken picnic with dark and stormies every fourth of July. They are well aware not everyone does this, which makes it all the more special.
However, depending on the way it was introduced to them, some children are raised to think certain customs or habits done by their family are, indeed, normal.
Only to grow up and realize that theirs might have been the only family in the world which partook in them.
In some cases, this discovery is met with laughs and maybe the tiniest bit of embarrassment.
Other times, it's no laughing matter.
"What's something about your childhood that you thought was normal at the time but realiszd as an adult that it wasn't?"
Seemed Like A Good Idea, Until You Read Why...
"Having a cooler in the car."
"My parents always packed one, there were cokes and waters in it."
"The weird part was there was also always beer in it."
"Didn't matter if we were going 12 hours or 1 hour, they packed a cooler."
"Didn't realize how much my mom was drinking until years later when she become a non-functioning alcoholic."- IslandsOnTheCoast·
Dad Of The Year!
"When i was a kid I thought that all the Korean candy stores were free."
"Like you could go in, take what you wanted and leave."
"I would make friends with other Korean kids, take them to my favorite candy stores and tell them to help themselves. which they did."
"So apparently, whenever we'd visit my family in Korea, my dad would talk to all the candy shop owners in the neighborhood and tell them to put anything me or my friends took, on a tab."
"Maybe it was because i barely even spoke korean, but that whole situation just seemed perfectly f*ckin normal to my oblivious little self."- yaybunz
Boundaries Exist For A Reason
"In hind sight I realize that what I thought was 'freedom' was actually neglect."
"Kids aren't supposed to be left to themselves in such a degree that they end up raising themselves."
"From personal experience doing so leads to a lot of misunderstandings on how things are supposed to be."- Hattkake·
A Little Sensitivity Does Go A Long Way
"Being really sensitive to people's emotions because you never know if they could be in a bad mood."
"Turns out I learned that from my dad to make sure I don't make it worse."- UpstairsDifficult966
Think Carefully If You Have What It Takes To Be A Parent...
"Parents aren't supposed to make fun of their kids, complain about what they have to do for their children, and break down when they don't feel validated by their own child."- Doobledorf
"My mom never cooked, and there would be a lot of nights where I went without food because she didn't buy any."
"I thought it was normal for a mom to sleep the majority of the day."
"In reality she was always f*cked up on painkillers."
"Then, with my grandmother, she was controlling over whatever clothes, shoes, and how my hair looked."
"I always had to look like a good Christian boy."- Additional-Soup3853
"I was in college before I learned that you don't have to get your mother a gift for your birthday because 'she's the one that did all the work that day'."- lylertila
Kind Of Sad To Think Self-Sufficiency Is So Rare...
"Being able to fix things myself."
"My dad is an engineer and throughout my childhood we'd come up with random creative projects to build stuff, he'd show me how to fix things and what safety precautions to look out for."
"Now if something happens at my flat I know how to fix it (or I call my dad and he'll guide me)."
"My boyfriend and friends have no idea how I know this stuff or how to do these things themselves, I always thank my Dad!"
"It's great because I get to save a lot of money, and I've saved money for my friends too!"
"Also, it means a lot to me because at the time and the town I was in girls weren't encouraged to do engineering, but my dad didn't care."
'I was little girl and thought it was essential for me to know how to do these things myself."
'I think he also hoped I'd one day become an engineer!"- imhere2913
Sadly, Not As Common As You Thiink...
"My parents were happily married and our home was happy and loving."- IllChampionship5
"Actually liking your parents/siblings/family."
"Almost everyone I know can't stand the people they grew up with, which I find strange."- ThatDukeGuy
Making A Custom Even More Meaningful
"Every Christmas my parents would buy me and my siblings one Christmas ornament to decorate the tree, which typically highlighted a special event or something important or a topic we were highly interested in that year."
"The tree started off rather bare at first, but after five kids and twenty-five years, that thing was filled from top to bottom, and shows a history of our lives."
"I thought it was how everyone decorated family home Christmas trees for awhile, but apparently it’s pretty unique to us."- RummelNation
Leading To A Massive Vocabulary No Doubt...
"Having a room full of dictionaries."
"I was baffled when I met kids in secondary school (as an adult doing a teacher training course at the time) who didn't even understand the basics of how to use one in their own language, let alone a two-language one."
"My dad was a translator so growing up it was just a normal thing, and I would sometimes just take one and look up random words in different languages for fun."- MrLuxarina
Unbelievable That This Isn't Normal
"Being taught to care about everybody, regardless of race, religion, or politics."
"We were lower middle-class farmers and we played with everyone."
"Everybody was welcome in my parents home."
"We had a ginormous garden and my parents gave our neighbors food out of it."
"My parents taught if you give out love, it’s returned 10 fold."
"Needless to say that bit us in the butt some times."
"But my parents died living and believing that."- SCGranny64
Not Exactly Normal, But Far too Commonplace
"When it would rain we would put pots and pans down to catch the drips."
'I would be sent to go have a slumber party with cousins whenever the electricity would get cut off due to nonpayment."
"I thought it was commonplace for people to go thru stuff like that."- RacksDiciprine
Ultimately, everyone's childhood is unique.
Many are grateful to learn just how unusual or special their childhood is.
For others, the discovery proves to be far too little too late.
Do you have something to add? Let us know in the comments.
People Share The All-Time Funniest Examples Of Misheard Lyrics They've Ever Heard
It might be super easy to find the lyrics to a song now that we've all got the entirety of the internet in our pockets, but it didn't used to be so simple. Unless you owned the album, and it was one that actually came with the lyrics on the sleeve/in the case, you just kind of had to guess if the words were unclear.
This led to some extremely amusing, and sometimes mortifyingly embarrassing, misheard lyrics.
Redditor 23andrewb asked:
"What's the your favorite example of misheard lyrics?"
"Jimi Hendix Purple Haze: ''scuse me while I kiss this guy'"
"Roommate back in the day, who would have been about 18 in 1970, told me that Hendrix was aware of the alternate interpretation, and he would gesture at Noel Redding and say ''scuse me while I kiss this guy.'"
Bad Moon Rising
"CCR - bad mood rising 'There's a bathroom on the right.'"
"That's what I thought as a kid. Still say it now because it's funny."
What A Wonderful World
"I see skies of blue And clouds of white The bright blessed day The dogs say goodnight"
"I woke up my dog laughing at this one."
"Did the dog say good night?"
Why Is Everyone Singing About Lorain?
"I want to know, have you ever seen Lorain."
"I can see Clearly now, Lorain is gone!"
"And I wonder, still I wonder. Who'll stop Lorain."
"I can't stand Lorain, on my window..."
"As a child I used to sing 'I can see clearly now Lorraine has gone' and always wondered what poor Lorraine did that was so bad."
Gimme The Beach Boys
"Give me The Beach Boys and free my soul, I wanna get lost in your Rock and Roll…"
"Wait that’s not the actual lyric?"
"Hahah. Nope! Beat Boys"
Moves Like Jagger
"'remove my jacket' Instead of 'moves like jagger' Boy I felt dumb."
"Moobs like Jagger."
"I’ve got the moose vagina! I got that moose vagina! I got that moOose vagina"
"I guess it rains down in Africa?"
"I’m still somewhat embarrassed to say that I thought it was 'god bless the maids down in Africa'. Thought it was some sort of weird political statement."
"I wept the drains down in aaafrica isn't right then?"
"I always heard it as 'I miss the rains down in Africa' and thought that sounded so lovely and melancholic. I was so disappointed by the real lyric lmao"
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
"Hit me with a wet sock, FIRE AWAY!!!!!"
"Sweet dreams are made of cheese, who am i to disagree"
"Can't argue that!"
Applause ... or Applesauce?
"When I was 14 my dad was driving me to my boyfriends house. On the way over “Applause” by Lady Gaga came on & my dad sang 'I live for the applesauce applesauce applesauce.' I busted out laughing and mocking him."
"Laughed so hard he turned the car around and took me home."
"Regulate - Nate Dogg + Warren G. "I can't believe, they're taking Lawrence Welk".
"I used to hear this song and wonder 'Why is a smooth Gangsta like Warren G listening to Lawrence Welk, and why are these thugs stealing his Lawrence Welk records specifically?'"
"Then someone corrected me. 'They're taking Warren's wealth.'"
Here I Go Again
"Song: "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake. Lyric: 'Like a drifter I was born to wear cologne'"
"My favorite misheard lyric is 'Hold me closer, Tony Danza' instead of 'Hold me closer, tiny dancer' by Elton John."
"Count the head lice on the highway."
Reelin' In The Years
"Steely Dan, instead of 'Are you reelin' in the years?', got 'Are you really into yeast?'"
"I always heard 'reelin' in the East' but like your version better, lol"
You Oughta Know
"'It's not fair, to deny me Of the crosseyed bear that you gave to me You, you, you oughta know' -Alanis Morissette"
"How could you take her crosseyed bear Dave Coulier"
Have you ever embarrassingly misheard the lyrics to a song? How long did it take for you to realize, or for someone to correct you? Let us know in the comments.
All jobs are important. If they weren’t, those jobs wouldn’t exist.
However, some people view their profession as so important that they begin to develop a superiority complex.
This can be true for all professions, but Redditors maintain it’s more common in certain professions.
It all started when Redditor nameisMark asked:
“What profession attracts douchebags the most?”
“Clerks in high-end fashion boutiques. So snotty and pretentious, I mean...you work for them, you are NOT them. And most likely your clients are wealthier than you. Chill the f**k down.”
“Some are fine but others act like youre the one who doesnt belong there. Like lol bruh you just work there. It's not like you can even afford anything inside. Which is no big deal but don't act like you're gatekeeping that store”
“Love the folks in high-end watch stores who have a huge ego about working at the mall and can’t afford a single product there.”
"I remember when I bought my first house. COULD have bought one much sooner, but was just doing the young person thing of moving around for job promotions, etc. (Keep in mind, I was still only 29 when the below story happened.)"
"I was not/am not definitely not part of the generation that considered (outside of work) dressing down as wearing some khakis and a button up. Nope. I'll wear my sweats and a hoodie. Thanks."
"Anyway, I went to the furniture store closest (less than five minutes away) not because it seemed like the nicest place, but because it was close. A salesman asks "Can you afford anything in here?" The very stereotypical salesman - either in his 50s or aged terribly, probably weighed 2x-3x more than me, can tell he has 14 cents in his savings account - too. Not like some world-class salesman working on Wall Street."
"I wanted to tell him I had more money in my pocket than he has in his entire life, but I just turned around and walked away."
The Clique Game
"Doctor here. Nearly half or more of my colleagues are a**holes"
"Medicine and the hospital environment is high school all over again, and the lounge is the cafeteria."
"The academic system they pass through to get to medical school does not reward good personality or balance."
Please Don't Convince Me
"Any sales job. The competitive nature of the job means that the more confident and pushy you are, the more successful you are. It draws a certain personality type."
"Assumptive language is one of the most off-putting aspects of the dating world, imo. If I get the feeling you’re trying to sell me on going out/going home with you I definitely don’t want to."
Power Over The People
"Anybody in the criminal justice system. The amount of power they have over the general public or incarcerated individuals is horrifying and exploited far too often. These people also tend to adopt a gang mentality worse than the people they arrest"
"Speaking as someone who’s got incarcerated immediate family, 80% prison guards my family has dealt with are violent thugs and should be in prison themselves for the heinous things theyve done."
"I'm A Professional"
"Fitness trainers… particularly male ones. My f*cking god. I don’t know if it’s the steroids or testosterone but jesus christ."
"Honestly I’m a female persona trainer, but the first interview I had with a male fitness trainer was awful. He kept talking about how he basically knew everything there was to know in the fitness industry, which is ridiculous because it’s an ever evolving science. Anyway, if I’m generalizing I completely agree. Although I have met some extremely kind male fitness trainers as well."
"Internet and Phone companies. (Rogers/Bell in Canada)"
"I don't know about most but I am starting to really not like civil engineers. My current pick."
Abuse Of Power
"bouncers. And I've never been in trouble with the law in my life or been in a fight etc but I've seen enough of them in action just being abusive power trippers and escalating situations needlessly. It's often akin to school yard bullying."
Money, Money, Money
"anything to do with money: bank, insurance ...etc"
"How has no one said finance, my goodness."
"Kimberly may be busy posting pictures of her "girl boss" mug while boasting about her ability to run her own company on her own time while being a super mom but I dont want her ugly leggings, crappy skincare or oil of oregano I can use to cure asthma, crowsfeet and the flu. Kimber is insufferable and I need to go to my real job that actually pays the bills."
"I'm Your Biggest Fan"
"This should be way higher. Paparazzi are scum."
"Hey that’s not fair what did pizza ever do to you"
What Happened To Beside Manner?
“Worked healthcare IT.
I've never met a surgeon that who wasn't putting literally every bit of effort they had into "The World's Biggest D-bag" contest.”
“I met one briefly who wore a big medallion, presumably by choice”
Yeah, I saw that coming!
Do you have any more to add? Let us know in the comments below.