8 awkward situations that could have been saved by speaking a foreign language
You have been told at least a hundred times how important language learning is, we know that you know that we know that you know… so now we’re picturing 8 super awkward situations that makes you feel the urge of language learning burn on your skin!
8 unpleasant situations that makes you wish for language skills
1. Airport fuss
Either you go on a holiday or a conference, knowing a language is always important on the airport. What if you don’t understand what they say?
For example, security asks to take all metal objects off you, or if you have any liquids, and you just nod politely, having no idea what on earth they want from you. You cross the inspection gate that beeps immediately, and you end up being checked surrounded by disapproving faces. This is when all other passengers are staring, waiting for a juicy scandal, though your only sin was having gone to parties instead of language classes.
2. Work burn
A foreign investor visits your company and your job is to show them around the office. The only problem is the date on your language exam paper, saying it was taken 8 years ago, and ever since you did nothing that required Enghish. That’s why you can’t recall any words and build up your sentences irrationally slowly, and ask your guest three times after their every single sentence… just let the boss not hear it…
3. When ignorance makes you sleep on the bench
Rome, Amsterdam, Berlin… how exciting cities! Finally all you have to do is walk around, eat ice cream and relax… but wait a minute, it’s already dark, and you’re at least 5 kms away from your accomodation! You have to ask a passer-by how to get back, you show the map, and they helpfully start to explain and wave with their left hand, showing to turn left and then right and then left again… but where? There is also a bus smewhere, but you have no idea which number and where: you’re lost.
4. Cool, a fancy restaurant!
You’re invited to a magnificent foreign restaurant where tha menu is almost as thick as a novel by Tolkien. But you don’t understand a single world since it’s all written in a foreign language, and there’s no Hungarian translation. You try to cover your anxiety and figure out what to order, then you end up randomly picking one dish. When you get your dinner, you realize you should have memorized the names of plants and animals, as your only problem with clams covered with nut sauce is that you’re allergic to nuts and you can’t stand clams.
5. Awkward silence at the job interview
You reply to the questions with high confidence in your crisp black and white suit at tha job interview. The only thing you didn’t prepare for is having to actually speak English and German, not just show the language exam paper. The HR assistant starts to speak to you in English and you just sit there frozen, not being able to say a single word. So much for confidence…
If you know that a good job requires language skills, read our previous article on the topic.
6. How to get in an embarassing situation at parties
When you’re at a party and a cute guy or girl approaches you, smiles and says something in your ear because of the loud music, it might not be a great idea to head off to the floor with them. Why? Because they were the ticket inspector and they just wanted to check your wristband.
A few more language lessons might have been useful…
7. Language learning might be neccessary even in the family
Your sister, who has just returned from her Erasmus semester in Scotland, introduces her new British boyfriend. At the family dinner everybody is just about to start on the delicious soup, when the boyfriend asks something, but noboy can answer. You’ve got an interesting weekend to look forward to…
8. The grass is always greener…
You wish you had started practicing English on your smartphone when your foreinger neighbour asks something from you – and you have no clue what it might be. Since you don’t wanna risk the good relationship with him, you water his plants and feed his cat while he’s away, then you find out he just wanted to compliment on your garden.
These are just 8 of the countless awkward situations in which – if you could turn back time – you would have taken the time to learn those languages.
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