Or should I say ‘funny moments’? Some situations make you blush and laugh at the same time. 🙂
Today, we were reading a dialog at a language school. My part was: ‘Schade, das geht leider nicht. Ich habe keine Zeit.‘ After I finished reading, the teacher noticed how ‘polite’ I was. I read the text with the wrong intonation that sounded rude to a native speaker. Obviously, I sounded the way too happy for a person who says ‘Schade…‘.
Another day, a classmate of mine was reading a dialog ‘In der Stadtbank‘. Instead of reading ‘Einen Moment bitte. Herr Marwald ist gleich für Sie da.’, he read: ‘Einen Monat bitte…‘
Many people mistakenly think that English and German phrasal constructions are always similar. For instance, you cannot ask someone ‘Bist du heute frei?’. Our teacher was laughing hard after one of the students asked such a question. ‘Hast du heite Zeit?‘ sounds normal in this context.
Adverb auch confused me the other day. I got a text message from a native German speaker asking: ‘Können wir uns auch morgen treffen?‘ Sure, I said! I had doubts that the message was saying ‘let’s meet tomorrow INSTEAD OF today’, but in that circumstances I could not be 100 % sure. In the evening, I went to our meeting point. I waited for some time, but nobody showed up. It became clear to me that auch did not mean in addition to something… Some time later I learned that a question: ‘Können wir uns morgen auch treffen?’ will be the one to ask in case you want to meet with someone two days in a row.
A friend of mine came to Germany without knowing what das Bargeld means. When a cashier asked her ‘Bar oder mit Karte?‘, she answered: ‘Nein, Danke.‘ Last week, during my Probearbeit at a cafe, a customer walked in and asked about something. I did not understand the question and another salesperson replied: ‘Leider nicht‘. When the man left, I asked what the question was. The salesperson who has been staying in Germany for about 4 years said to me: ‘I did not understand a thing he was asking’.