Friday, May 14

Foreign Language Gone Wrong

Here is my entry for the Up Your Bottom! story contest 

Once when working on an ad campaign, I was in a meeting with the makers of detergent for hand washable wools.  We were discussing the shoot, and the company officials said they needed to bring in a knitter - magliaia - to create a beautiful garment to show off the fabric.
I had recently arrived in Italy, and I'm afraid my Italian wasn't so good.
I understood that they wanted to bring in a maiala - the Italian word for pig -- but, since we were clearly discussing a woman, the word is also used crudely to mean a sleeze .

No faux-pas there, until I naturally opened my big mouth and asked if that's what they meant.  The company was not only startled, but totally insulted -- and I thought I would lose my job!

Needless to say, to this day I still cannot hear the difference in the two words...


3 comments:

Dave514 said...

Francesca:
Remember, if you put lipstick on it, it's still...

Dave514 said...

Frncesca:
The worst faux pas is the adoption of the Euro and European Socialism.

Italy's debt is 115% of GDP, so when do you want your bailout from the US through the IMF?

Francesca Maggi said...

As I saw in Twitter recently: In the old days, they didn't 'bail out' countries, they took their land.

[and I'd add to that, rape & enslaved their women and killed all the men]