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...


Dave514 said...

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

Dave514 said...

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]