ShowsBefore You GoBulletin BoardContactAboutSearch
Show and Features |
Culture Watch | Question of the Week | Letters of the Week |
Traveler's Aid | Library | Host's View

Question of the Week

September 1, 2000


This week: Language Mistakes

The last thing you want to do when you're in a foreign country fraught with political tension like Palestine or Israel is make a language mistake. But we're all guilty of stumbling over the language barrier. Or in some cases, running headlong into it. A perfect example of this is President Kennedy's now famous speech in Germany back in June of 1963. He was addressing an immense crowd gathered near the Berlin Wall. He meant to end his speech by saying in German, "I am a Berliner" but ended up calling himself a donut.

Hey, it's hard enough just finding your way around a country, let alone speak the language. Just a little slip of the tongue or a wrong stress on a syllable and you're calling yourself a pastry.

I asked listeners to call in with the most embarrassing language mistakes they made while on the road. It was pretty obvious from the responses I got that we all need to spend a little more time with our phrase books. Listen in.

Real Audio Listen with RealAudio          help Need audio help?

Next Week: Travel Lies

You know, after hearing some of those travel nightmares, it would have been so easy to just tell your less-than-enjoyable travel partner "Hey, we're just going to take the kids to the mini-golf. We'll be back in two hours to pick you up." I mean, that would be a pretty effective way to dump an annoying companion.

And you know what? That wouldn't even have been the worst travel lie I've heard. Sure, plenty of people make up stories while traveling. They assume new identities or step outside themselves where there's little chance of getting caught. My personal favorite is the guy who went all over Paris impersonating the son of Emperor Hirohito. It's just amazing what an Armani suit and two semesters of Japanese can do for you.

But just because you don't get caught, doesn't make it right. Send us an email or call 888-SAV-TRAV(888-728-8728). It's time to step up and confess your best... or worst... travel lie of all time.


{ Question of the Week Index }


American Public Media
American Public Media Home | Search | How to Listen
©2004 American Public Media |
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy