Faux Pas Friday*

Freudian Slip *Brought to you by Dr. Freud and “Thought I Said One Thing, But I Said Something Entirely Different Thursday.”

Every expat blog should offer an occasional thought on the faux pas, because it’s what we strangers in a strange land do best . . . or at least most regularly.

So I’ll open the conversation with my misstep of the week (so far).  Yesterday, I was in my German language class, plodding along and trying to learn a few things.  By the way, I’ve changed classes: no more sitting by Paul Newman’s twin (so sad), but I do really like my new teacher (a very elegant older German man). We were reviewing some useful phrases for eating out–something I fancied I knew a little about.  The teacher asked what the word for appetizer was. I boldly hollered out “Vorspiele!”  What I meant to say was “vorspeise”–  the word for appetizer literally means before (vor) the meal (speise).

But my teacher nearly fell off the side of his desk laughing. . . and I knew, immediately, what my mistake was.  Instead of “speise,” I said “spiele.”

“Spielen” means “play.”

Yep, I’d enthusiastically shouted out “Foreplay!”

All in a day’s work for an expat.

More thoughts on the art of faux pas next week, but for now just remember that, despite what Freud says,  sometimes an appetizer is just an appetizer .