Travel Warning: Pronunciation Counts

A catering firm cautions that some words sound almost the same. If you say good in Greek, but get it a little wrong, you may be calling the person a squid. If you ask the waiter for jam in Portugal, you might accidentally be requesting a condom.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with advice for travelers.

When trying to speak a foreign language, mind your pronunciation. A catering firm warns that some words sound almost the same. If you say good morning in Greek, but get it a little wrong, you may be calling the person a calamari or squid. If you ask the waiter for jam in Portugal, you might accidentally be requesting a condom. And in France, if you say I am full, you may be understood to mean that you are pregnant.

You're listening to MORNING EDITION.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.