Married to a WHAT?

man and baby.jpeg

Since my philosophy of language teaching is to equip people for LIFE, and not a merely academic exercise, that means you have to be willing to step out INTO real life at the risk of making mistakes. It helps not to take yourself too seriously and trust that other people are more understanding than you might think!

In fact, some of my favorite chuckles are language faux pas (which literally means "false steps" in French), both my own and those of others! Although it's tempting to tell about others' (!), I'll share one of my own with you to start off your week:

I was in Amsterdam, where my wife and I lived for five years. I was having a conversation in Dutch, and was doing pretty well overall. But there are fine points and nuances in every language, and I wasn't quite to that stage of learning yet. A lady and I were talking and discovered we had a mutual friend. The lady said, "He's married now, isn't he?" to which I replied, "Yes, with a baby!"

She died laughing, and I quickly realized what I had done. In English, we say someone is "married, with children". But in Dutch, the prepositions work a bit differently, and what I meant to mean "he is married and has a baby" came out meaning "he is married to a baby"!

Although I suppose faux pas can get a person in trouble every now and then, most of the time, in the long run, they only provide a humorous side to the adventure of learning another language, providing chuckles and great memories for years to come!

Happy learning!