Bilingual-People-Did-Not-Realize-I-Spoke-Their-Language-StoryThis will get buried but oh well. About a year ago, I was in a café, just eating lunch when I overhear 2 French girls sitting next to me, talking about boys and stuff like that, nothing out of the ordinary. Then, one of them looks at me and says in French "That guy [me] is really cute. I want his number." 5 minutes later I go to leave and say (in French) "Thanks, I think you're cute too, I can give you my number if you still want it." She gets so embarrased while her friend is laughing her ass off. I gave her my number, and the girl is my girlfriend now.
Bilingual-People-Did-Not-Realize-I-Spoke-Their-Language-StoryI was sitting in my grandmother's living room. I hadn't been there since I was 7(I'm 19 in this story) and had said nothing as at that time I was a quiet introvert. My two aunts were talking about how I was "A stupid American" and "How I never could understand the language of my family". I then smiled and said "You know I understood everything you just said, right?" They didn't talk to me for a while after that.
Bilingual-People-Did-Not-Realize-I-Spoke-Their-Language-StoryI speak French and English but people wouldn’t think it because I’m Asian. I also wrestle. I was at a tournament and a group of French wrestlers showed up. They assumed that o my their team knew French. I won my weight class and completely annihilated the French kid. Later, I’m in the change room getting dressed, when in walks the French kid and his teammates. They are speaking in French and his teammates are like “that’s the kid you lost to? How? He doesn’t even look tough.” And some racist/derogatory comments. Before leaving, I turn to the kid, and in perfect French say “that was a great match. I had a lot of fun wrestling you. Have a great day.” The three of them stood their, jaw to the ground as I walked out.
Bilingual-People-Did-Not-Realize-I-Spoke-Their-Language-StoryEnglish and Italian. I am fluent in Italian and find it the most beautiful language. I like the culture and history. Anyway, was young and chose as a starting point for two week trip across the Europe Italy. My friends speak only English. So we are at the bar, and talking with some locals. One of them is a girl so cute that , at the time, I would never had courage to approach. We all speak English, but she turns to her friend to tell her silently that she wonders if I am good kisser and she plans to find out. I stayed in Milan for few days longer than planned.
Bilingual-People-Did-Not-Realize-I-Spoke-Their-Language-StoryI've heard my 2 aunts gossiping about me, for 2 hours in a car ride. I learned Farsi (which is what they spoke) by myself, so they had no idea I can suddenly understand them. From the moment I picked them up, to the moment we arrived to destination, they never stopped gossiping about me (in Farsi). They were sure I didn't understand them and they talked about EVERYTHING! My romantic life, my job, my studies.... At the end of the car ride I told them to have a good day, in Farsi. It was worth it all just to see the look of horror on their faces.
Bilingual-People-Did-Not-Realize-I-Spoke-Their-Language-StoryI'm german, but also speak english. Like almost everyone in Germany. Once I was at a suburban train where I live and there were two Americans who were screaming, that all germans are nazis and that they are way better than every german and that the language is horrible... You get the point. Someone stood up and said "Do you really think you are the only people in the train who speak English?" They literally looked completely shocked and totally embarassed, while the whole train started laughing at them.
I am half English and half French. When I was 19 I used to run a football class for a summer school in my hometown in England. My dad was the modern language teacher of the private school which lead me to be pretty knowledgeable about how things worked. When walking through the street at the end of school term some French exchange students asked me for a cigarette. I don't smoke so I told them as much and I carried on. I got 5 meters down the street before one said "eh merci fils de pute". This means oh thanks son of a b*tch. I turned back and asked them to repeat themselves. They apologised and were really suprised and also extremely embarrassed. Not nearly as shocked as when they turned up to gym class for their first summer class and I was their teacher...
I’m a white blonde female, but I grew up learning Spanish and ended up living in Chile and Mexico for a time. I am pretty fluent in Spanish. I was 18 and getting my car fixed after an accident and I had to walk around back with one of the guys past the garage where all the mechanics were. This was in Arizona so almost everyone working there was Mexican or Hispanic. They started saying some really rude things about me in Spanish loudly and they were laughing. I understood them but was too embarrassed to say anything. With me being white they probably assumed I didn’t understand them. After my car was done I walked back around past the guys again. This time one of them said something along the lines of “I want to kill her with my di*k/ choke her”.... something like that. At that point I decided to turn and tell him off in Spanish and say that yes, I understood him, and I let him know how rude, offensive, and uncalled for that was. My Spanish isn’t perfect, and I probably didn’t get the exact point across that I wanted to because I was nervous and angry, but he and the coworkers clearly understood that I had heard them and knew exactly what they were saying. On my way home I called the car place and told the manager what happened and he said he would handle it. Idk what happened after that but I was young and shy and was proud of myself for how I handled it in the moment.
Bilingual-People-Did-Not-Realize-I-Spoke-Their-Language-StoryI'm Dutch and my GF is Hungarian. I went to meet her parents for the first time af Christmass a couple of years back and my GF suggested that I should learn a couple words like: Hello, how are you. Those kind of things. I took it a step further and got a lot of help from 2 workmates, just to suprise my girlfriend and parents. When we got there, her father was not so keen of me being not Hungarian. He was saying some things to my girlfriend like "How will we ever communicate?" and "It's such a shame that you couldn't find someone who is Hungarian or at least speaks it". I look at my GF, then camly responded to her dad that although my Hungarian isn't the best, I will learn it for them because now they are my family too. I also thanked then for having me over and asked my GF's dad that I hope that one day he can accept me for who I am as a "Outsider" as how he likes to call it. The moment I did say that, he teared up and said that no one ever did some much for his daughter and his family in this way and he appreciates it very much. After that, A bottle of Palinka appeard on the table and from that moment on I don't remember much from that night. Now several years later, me and my GF's dad are really close although we live at the other side of Europe. Soon I will go again to Hungary for Christmas, And now I am planning to ask him for his daughter's hand. I hope I will pronouce it correctly
Bilingual-People-Did-Not-Realize-I-Spoke-Their-Language-StoryFrench, English, German and Spanish. Have had some fun ones with the latter two. Once, German tourists were in town, talking about how North Americans are rude and dumb. I politely responded to them that generalizing all North Americans is dumb, and saying things like that was very rude. That shut them up. In Spanish, I was out with my partner, and a group of Spanish speaking boys started saying things about my partner that while I understand why they'd think them, you shouldn't say out loud, and what they'd do to her. I responded that this is what I thought of their mothers as I was having them the night before. Once again: triumphant silence and indignant shock was their reaction. The best polyglot story ever was my Godmother, who is this White-ass French Canadian who was raised in India, and speaks fluent Hindi and Marathi. So these two guys in an elevator start talking about her physique, berating her for being on the plumper side. As she exits the elevator, she says in fluent Hindi how their mums would not approve of how they were talking and treating women.
Bilingual-People-Did-Not-Realize-I-Spoke-Their-Language-StoryAll the Mexicans at work insult my white ass every. F**king. Day. They still don't know I can understand them.
Bilingual-People-Did-Not-Realize-I-Spoke-Their-Language-StoryOn the tram in Munich I heard some drunk American tourist talking about how she didn’t realize some guy had left a condom inside her for a few days. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that like 90% of the people there could understand her.
Bilingual-People-Did-Not-Realize-I-Spoke-Their-Language-StoryAm ethnically Chinese but grew up learning German. I was in Germany for student exchange and attended a dorm party one night. Two German guys at the party started flirting with me and openly discussed who would be able to sleep with me that night. Played dumb and rejected both their advances. A week later at another party I conversed with other friends in fluent German in front of them. Their expressions were priceless.
Bilingual-People-Did-Not-Realize-I-Spoke-Their-Language-StorySometimes my students forget I speak Russian, and start saying stuff that is way inappropriate for English class. The best was when this one boy, who always finishes his work early and fidgets around with things, was pretending to swallow a pencil. Another boy, who thinks he's very funny, said in Russian, "I always knew you could deep-throat." That kid turned a beautiful color when I reminded him I could understand.
Bilingual-People-Did-Not-Realize-I-Spoke-Their-Language-StoryVery innocent comment towards my Dad, but regardless they clearly didn't think I could understand them. I once overheard some middle aged guys say that my Dad looks like "the oldest kid from The Brady Bunch if he grew up" in Spanish. My dad was down the aisle getting something and I was manning the cart and they were semi near me. I just start laughing because my mom had a crush on Greg from The Brady Brunch as a kid,so it was perfect! Even my Dad's name is Greg! No one was offended, but the guys did look scared for a minute.
It happens to me all the time because I look middle-eastern when I'm really hispanic. I was working at a coffee shop and two hispanic men came in talking mad s**t about our food and confused about the menu. Right in front of me the guy's like "Lets ask this guy" "This guy? What's this camel gonna know about anything here" (I guess camel is a slur for middle eastern or something?) I responded in Spanish and it was back-peddle o'clock.