English is a funny language, we all know that. But today it has become the lingua franca of the world. That is certainly a good thing. As an English speaker you can comfortably travel almost anywhere in the world. Even if you are visiting remote tribes, most translators are capable of at least some level of communication in English. We all know that North America, Australia, and the British Isles speak English. But so does most of Africa, a significant portion of Asia (to which India and Pakistan contribute significantly), and almost everybody in Northern Europe. And right now we are only talking about people who consider themselves fluent. In fact, there has never been a language in history that has commanded such widespread influence. Even Latin was contained to only a few continents at best. Either way, the advantages of using English can also be quite comical. Because it has borrowed heavily from other languages, many words often sound the same. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful. Although in English a “pet” is an animal you keep at home, don’t think that in French it’s the same. If you tell a Frenchman that your pet stinks, he will understand that your fart stinks! That’s right, “pet” means fart in French! These are 25 English Words That Hilariously Mean Something Else In Other Languages!
Featured Image: Istanbul’daki Yunanistan via Flickr
In Russian, it means “brother” (брат)
In Norwegian, fart means “speed” i.e. how fast you are traveling.
Although the pronunciation is a bit slanted. “Gary” is essentially the Japanese word for “diarrhea”. So, for all the Gary’s planning on visiting Japan…you’ve been warned.
In Swedish, it means “good”
In French, this is a tuxedo.
Another word with a different meaning in French, this time it means “delay”
In Italian, this literally translates to “from” but colloquially it means “Come on!”.
Possibly one of the most ironic words on this list, in German “gift” means “poison”.
Although the pronunciation is different in Irish, the spelling is exactly the same. Sean Bean (the actor) translates to “old woman”.
In Romanian, this means “carp”, as in the fish. In fact, many of the fish egg salads sold in Romania have the word “crap” plastered on them.
In Dutch, it means “father”.
In French, this is a paperclip.
In Swedish, “kiss” means “pee”.
This means “bump” in Swedish. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll have noticed that “speed bump” in Swedish would be “fart dump”.
In Indonesian, this means “water”.
In Italian, this is a chili pepper.
This means “cellphone” in German
Also in German, this means “awesome” i.e. Das ist so hammer! (That is so awesome!)
Yet again in German, this means “manure”.
If you say this to a Japanese person they will understand “good morning”
In French this means “fart”. So when you go to Paris, be careful when talking about your pets.
In Hindi, Urdu, and Farsi, this means “snow”
If you say “eagle” in German, it sounds like the word for “hedgehog”.
In Polish, Czech and some other Slavic languages this can actually mean “yes”.
It actually means “fun” in Dutch. So “we hebben lol” translates to “we are having fun”.