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False Friends Are No Friends At All!

Philipp Stosiek
4 months ago
Imagine the following situation:

A group of five co-workers from an international company are sitting together in a restaurant and the waitress is taking their orders.
The two Englishmen order a nice, juicy burger while the Italian guy takes a soup. The Romanian girl orders a salad.
When the waitress finally turns to the German, he says. "I am becoming a sausage." Both of them smile at each other desperately until the waitress turns around heading for the kitchen, thinking that the German simply wants to be funny and that he isn't hungry.
What happened there? Let me clarify: The German guy wanted to order a sausage, not become one.
The confusion stems from the fact that the German word "bekommen" looks like it would have to be translated with "to become". However, the word "to become" is translated with "werden". The verb "bekommen" is translated with "to get".
So, while the German sentence "Ich bekomme eine Wurst." is perfectly fine, it has to be translated with "I am getting a sausage.", or – in our example with the waitress - "I'd like to have a sausage."
false friends
funny mistakes
word mix-up
Questions
  1. Do you guys remember a situation in which you or someone else around you caused similar awkwardness?

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