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Everyone experiences embarrassing situations while learning new language. Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in Languages, Vocabulary

Don’t get discouraged, it happens to all of us! We learn from our mistakes. And although at that point it could be the most embarrassing situation…we remember it forever and probably talk about it later in life, laughing out loud:):):)

In 1977 president Jimmy Carter visited Poland. He said he wanted to learn about the Polish people’s desires for the future. His translator, Steven Seymour, said that Carter desired the Poles. Carter said he was happy to be in Poland; Seymour said he was happy to grasp at Poland’s private parts. Carter talked about leaving the U.S. to go on a trip; Seymour said that he had abandoned America forever. Then he spoke Russian — to a nation struggling under the thumb of the Soviet Union. Yikes.

Ok, maybe not the best example, this really shouldn’t have happened…

We all have this situation, once or few times, when we feel embarrassed. And believe me, I had few of those as well when I moved to USA (it still happens). Some of them I can’t really talk about (haha…:)).But I can share with you couple different ones.

My first year in America I met an amazing woman, who helped me a lot with literally everything! She gave me a place to stay, helped me with finding different jobs, she was (and still is), a great friend who treats me like a part of her family. I got invited to family parties all the time. One day, her family had a summer outdoor party. I was there, surrounded by loving, funny and crazy (in a good way) people. Of course, I offered to help with anything I could. I was asked to bring a pitcher from the kitchen, so we can put it on a picnic table. I was told it’s next to the table. I was afraid to ask if I understood correct, so off I went to the kitchen…and found the closest picture hanging on the wall next to the table…(thinking to myself what are we going to do with it outside? photo booth accessory maybe…:)). When I showed up outside with it…well, everyone kept looking at me funny, so I knew something was wrong. I felt embarrassed, but my friend’s family pretended not to notice anything and put the picture (by the way, amazing abstract work of art!) on the table.

Another one…(this one will be short, but bothers me anytime I say it). Working in retail, I used to look up customer’s rewards on the computer. To double check I had a right person in front of me, I would read customer’s name…and for some reason reading “Dick” just didn’t seem right to me… How can anyone name a person like this??? Well, I did get few laughs after being really shy about it, but my friends explained to me that nobody feels offended, it’s just a nick name for Richard.

So, as you see, you always learn something in a different way. I have to say that I have an amazing husband, who never corrects me (I know he does it, because he loves me so much). He says, that whatever I say and however I say it – it sounds great to him. I can usually see a little smile though, when I mess something up. He was the one who tough me how to live my life without paying much attention to what people think, how to be relaxed and live every day life with a smile. So when I get a little embarrassed when I mess something up speaking English…I take it with a big smile. Believe me, it works!

How can you not be happy next to a happy guy like him??? Us in Warsaw, Old Town Square during one of our trips to Poland


Now, I would love to hear what were your the most embarrassing language learning situations and how do you deal with the pressure of “being watched”?

Share it with us in comments below!



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About the Author:Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew up in Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


  1. SharonH:

    I announced my brother is a hamburger. I also insisted everyone call me acne.

  2. Mary:

    My husband is polish and we live in the UK together. We had a lodger and on the first day she moved in it was her birthday. I made her a dinner to say welcome and happy birthday. Over dinner my husband asked “what did you get for your birthday? Did you get sex? I always get sex.”
    She was stunned. I was stunned. It was horrifying. After a few moments, what he had actually said dawned on me.
    “Socks! Do you mean socks?” She visibly relaxed and he looked puzzled. “Of course, what did you think I said” was his reply.

  3. Pam Prophet:

    It was the first day of school and I had my classroom roster in my hands a began reading the high school student’s names to take attendance. About half way down I come to a name TITIE (I can’t remember her last name). I paused and thought there is NO way I can say this to a group of teenagers, so I skipped over the name. After completing the list, I asked if there was anyone that I had not called. Well, this Beautiful blonde girl, an exchange student from Germany raised her hand. I asked her what her name was and she replied Titie and with her accent it sounded like a girl’s name not a body part!!!! Although, I am sure it didn’t go unnoticed by the teenage boys!!!! I was so relieved to have escaped a very embarrassing moment for me and Tittie!!!!

  4. DM:

    dziekuje bardzo dla wspanialy blog Kasia! dobra robota!

    Not to many embarrassing moments yet… but I’m sure there will be some!

    do zobaczenia!

  5. Jared:

    I am still learning how to properly read (pronounce) polish words. My girlfriend who is Polish is teaching me. It is always embarrassing because I always have difficulty with the ę, ą, some letter combinations, and when there are too many consonants in a word. She doesn’t laugh at me but she does her best to teach me. She only giggles because she says its cute. >\\\<

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