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most embarrassing moment while learning Chinese


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That's what happens when you type something 5 minutes after waking up and just let your computer think for you... I just typed "guahuzi" and that is what my input came up with- didn't even bother to look. Appropriate thread to do that on though. I'll change it to avoid confusion for when people read it.

Gougou- According to my teachers and one friend no it doesn't. It means to cut your face off... hmmm.... now I'm curious... Oxford has it too... I would maybe say regional thing but one is Sichuan and one is Shanxi (xian). Alas this just proves that their is no "standard" in mandarin..

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  • 1 year later...

Here's one, I think this was pretty terrible-- I was trying to ask a friend when she was going to defend her grad school thesis (da2bian4) and ended up asking when she was planning to take a poop (da4bian4) instead. She turned bright red and laughed for like 5 minutes straight.

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After I had only been learning a while I was checking out of a hotel in Lanzhou early in the morning. After waking up the two girls on duty to return the room key, i then told them i wasnt too happy with the room as I'd been kept awake by the sound of a 老虎 (tiger) in the room instead of a 老鼠 (mouse), much to the amusement of the previously pissed off and bleary-eyed receptionists.

I heard another story of an American student at my uni who after scoring a clutch basket turned around in triumph and told everyone he had a hard-on instead of that he'd won 我硬了!as opposed to 我赢了

And also a girl in a staff room at my Chinese friends very reputable middle school in Chongqing who came in told everyone on a hot summer's day "Whoo, I f*&K!" as opposed to "Whoo, I'm hot". Something to do with Chongqing slang and the pronunciation of "热“

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Had one at the local shop a week or two back, forgot to post it at the time. Asked for a bag to put my stuff in, lady behind the counter holds her hand up to the cigarette shelves and asks what kind. Still can't figure out what i did wrong - I'm hoping she's posting on 便利店网 about the time she somehow misunderstood a perfectly well-spoken foreign gentleman's simple request for a bag.

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  • 1 month later...

I was in qingdao last year for huangjinjie and met like 5 americans and two chinese girls that went to qingdao for the beer festival, and ended up getting along with them really well

.I usually spoke chinese with the girls, and they thought it was great cause none of their american friends could speak any at all.

anyway, one night we were walking around a bar street, and saw a huge sculpture made out of qingdao beer bottles.

i said to one of the girls, 'I dare you to knock it over!" (wo gan ni ba nage tuixiaqu!)

she replied a little hesitantly, 'what..?' (shenme...?)

"I dare you!" (wo gan ni!)

"please say again?" (eh? zai shuo yibian?)

"I dare you!" (wo gan ni!)

"..."

her friend was cracking up the entire time, giggling hysterically in that shocked sort of way, so i finally said it in english to see what i was doing wrong.

they finally told me that my tone for 'gan, to dare' was wrong. its supposed to be 3rd, but i was saying it 4th tone. and gan4 colloquial means 'to fuck'.

so i was telling this girl over and over, 'I fuck you! I fuck you!"

haha all in front of her american amateur mma fighter boyfriend...

good thing he can take a joke...

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I got through the first line with just the thought, that's an odd way of saying it [knowing his meaning and knowing its wrong] but as soon as the second time of wo gan ni came up, I knew exactly where it was going. I hang out it with the wrong crowd....

The ability to bluff my way out of anything has really come in handy, especially when it comes to expressions like 打饼子. Any guesses?

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More often than not you would add 你敢不敢 after the action. So, in that case it would be 把那个退下来,你敢不敢? It doesn't quite carry the "I dare you" type of feeling but it's the closest in spoken that I think you are really going to get.

Of course, if she didn't have a boyfriend you could have used that mistake as a very bad pickup line as well...

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A few days ago I was hanging out with a group of friends, a mix of young and middle-aged people. I was chatting with one older guy about going to Vancouver in a few weeks and he asked me, "你要开车去“ and I confidently say, 不 我要打飞机去。 This poor young guy beside me shot a whole lot of pepsi out of his nose. The older guy didn't even notice my huge mistake and looks at the young guy disapprovingly and says, 他怎么了?I just couldn't stop laughing.

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  • 4 months later...

Well, I do not think I have as embarrasing a story, but I do have a goof one. As I do not have anyone to talk to in Chinese, I often practice by thinking aloud in Chinese (or French as I study both) or talk to myself. So I will ramble about when I am going along my daily routine and say things like "wo qu kan shu xue xi." or " je vais lu ma livre maintenant etudie l'Francais." and quite often when I am talking to myself in the privacy of my own home, I forget a Chinese word or hesitate and out comes a French word or vise versa. So often I go to say " wo xianzai kan ta de zhongwen zazhi" and it comes out "wo maintenant kan son Chinois zazhi." and I end up speaking Chench...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went to a store to buy a night gown for my girlfriend, I was negotiating and kept saying, 这么臭, 你卖不掉了, eventually she started sniffing it and said it doesn't smell, and then I realized I was constantly saying how smelly it was instead of how ugly it was.

In my first year Chinese class, I bought a book that had some dirty words in it(Making out in Chinese) and showed it to one of my classmates. Our teacher asked us, 你喜欢什么?He kept saying 我喜欢乳头, but my teacher and would ask him to say it again, so he would, this went on for about 5-6 times before he gave up and proudly said in English, "I like nipples"

But one of my funniest stories was using English with a girl in Shanghai. She was working in the fake market selling clothes, and I was with my mom and dad. My mom had to go to the bathroom so me and my dad waited talking to this girl. My dad asked if she was going home soon(it was night), and she "Yes, I go home soon", and then she wanted to ask us, look directly at me and said, "You want go my home?" after I said no thanks, she realized how she did and got the reddest face I've ever seen. Me and my dad still laugh about it

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So I have a job at the moment a reasonable portion of which is customer facing. One day I'd been on the front desk. Later, in the back office someone asked me what I'd been doing that afternoon, I replied 接客, not realising this was a word generally used by/about prostitutes. Everyone nearby burst out laughing and now the work is universally referred to as 接客 in our office.

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I did something similar when I arrived in Beijing 4 months ago. I asked my roommate how to say "Thank you very much", and he said I could say 非常感谢你。

I tried to repeat it to these girls at the store (just seconds later) and said 非常干你谢 .

Not sure how I managed that, but the girl was quite confused and my buddy said what I was trying to say, and proceeded to explain to me that if what I said could be translated, it would be roughly "Very much f--- you thanks"

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My mother, who speaks not a lick of Chinese, had come to visit me, and while she was there, we went to Xi'an together and visited the Terracotta Warriors. While we were doing the tourist thing, the guide taught me a little bit of the local dialect.

Anyway, during the trip, they took us to the jade place, which was unsurprising, as there is always a factory of some sort conveniently on the way to any tourist location, especially if you have a guide. Then the guide convinced me to try out my new Xi'anhua on the guys at the factory. They made the usual "look, a trained monkey" noise that you sometimes get by being a foreign lass who speaks Chinese. My mum looked confused at the whole thing though, so I decided to tell her what was so impressive.

I think my thought process went something like this: I was speaking Xi'anhua - well, she doesn't understand Xi'anhua, obviously - I know, I'll explain what's going on in a language that everybody understands - open mouth - speak: ”我刚才说的是西安话“ - wait, mother's still not understanding - oh, right - say it again, but in English this time. :oops:

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