There's truly nothing better than setting foot on foreign soil and completely immersing yourself in a new culture. You've got your passport, visa and foreign currency all handled, all that's left to do now is have a glass of wine at the airport, right? Wrong. As an English speaking American traveling abroad, there are a million and a half things that can go wrong when you're lost in translation. The struggle is real when you don't have a grasp of the local lingo and you're trying to communicate in another language. Luckily, we discovered Rosetta Stone's amazing app, which teaches you to speak a new language with confidence…But not without getting into some pretty hilarious situations first. #travelfails
1 - "A couple of years back, I was visiting a small village in Tuscany. I went to the local store and tried to order a quarter kilogram (about 1/2 lb.) of cheese. The lady gave me a strange look and kept telling me 'Troppo, Troppo!' ('too much, too much!'). Confident in my Italian speaking abilities, I insisted and kept repeating myself. She handed me what felt like a mountain of cheese and laughed at my perplexed face. The joke was on me because the Italian word for a quarter is 'quarto' and the word for the number four is 'quattro,' meaning I had ordered 4 kilograms (almost 9 lbs!) of cheese. Safe to say that I lived on cheese and wine for the remainder of my trip!"
2 - "Last year, I got the opportunity of a lifetime to train at a Michelin starred restaurant in Paris. I'd been in culinary school for years and had never studied French, but I figured most of the people there would speak a good amount of English. One evening after service, I decided to try and show off a little, so I put my high school French to the test (I'd gotten an A, so I figured I couldn't embarrass myself too much). I was chatting with coworkers during staff meal about all of the things I love most about French food and wanted to express my appreciation for the fresh, local produce that didn't have any preservatives. I didn't know that word, so I guessed 'préservatifs'—couldn't be too far off, right? Wrong! 'Préservatifs' means condoms. Oops! The correct word for preservatives is 'conservateurs.'"
3 - "When I was studying abroad in Budapest, I took a trolley up a mountain to Elizabeth's Lookout, the highest point in the city. There were no signs for the hours of operation or anything, so I assumed the trolleys just ran until it got dark. I tried asking the only worker there, but he didn't speak a word of English. I went hiking for a couple of hours and came back to the trolley station by 5 PM, but it was already closed, and there wasn't a single employee anywhere to be found. I checked my phone and of course, I had no cell reception. After wandering aimlessly for hours and stumbling upon a random mountain paintball dance party (you can't make this stuff up!), I eventually found a main road and got directions to a bus stop from a family who had a daughter that spoke English. What should have only been an hour long walk in the woods ended up costing me the entire day. Luckily, I got back to my hostel around 9 PM—just in time to go out for drinks!"
4 - "About 5 years ago, I went on my dream vacation to the south of France. I'm a wine enthusiast, so I was so excited to visit all of the picturesque vineyards and cozy restaurants. My wife and I were out for dinner one evening, and I went to order my entree. I ordered the duck en France and got a very stern look from our waiter. I butchered the pronunciation of 'cannard' and ended up saying 'connard,' which means asshole! My wife did some Googling and we laughed over my mistake. The waiter just rolled his eyes, but to this day, she still hasn't let me live it down."
Drake was right, do yourself a favor and download Rosetta Stone's appbefore you even think about booking your next trip—it will save you from countless embarrassing encounters and will help you speak a new language with confidence.
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