Heard a funny story from one of my students this week. I had been talking about moments of embarassment being excellent learning moments and he came up with this: It seems he was in an interview for a job and since one of the requirements for the position was a solid grasp of English communication skills, part of the interview was conducted in English to confirm this ability. Well. When it came time to switch to English, he was asked the common and simple, "How are you today?" He was tired, but he was more than tired since he had had trouble sleeping the night before and he wanted to convey this. He couldn't quite remember what the word was for "very tired". He took a stab at it though and told the interviewer, "I'm very horny today." The interviewer smiled broadly and asked why that was. My student explained why and then answered a few other questions in English from the interviewer. At the end of the interview, he was told that although his English skills were acceptable, he might want to reconfirm the accepted use of "horny". Imagine his horror upon realizing what he had said! Happy ending though, he got the job. If you could see how serious and conservative this guy is, it would be even funnier. Me, I'll be chuckling for months about it.
My big similar moment came at a restaurant when I asked the waiter if I could move my chair back. The word I was trying to use was "reculer" which means "back up" but what came out of my mouth was "enculer" which means "butt fuck". Really not the same thing at all. At all, at all. But you know, great learning moment as I've never made that mixup again.
And you? Any embarassing learning moments you care to share? Do tell.