Multilingual People Share What They Overheard About Themselves In A Language They Weren’t Supposed To Understand

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This just goes to show that talking about people behind their back never pays off.

Reddit user Trumpstered asked:

Multilingual Redditors, What is your “They didn’t realize I spoke their language” story?

And here are some of multilingual Reddit’s best stories:

Both Sides Now

Was on both ends as a deaf person myself.

on one side: This one time the cashiers at a store realized I was deaf, and so started talking to each other about me when they thought I wasn’t looking… they also didn’t know I had my hearing aids and could lipread. Their comments weren’t anything too negative, it was mostly the typical comments about deaf people by people who were completely clueless about how deafness worked. When I brought my stuff to the checkout I kindly reminded them that it’s a pretty bad idea to talk about somebody thinking that they can’t understand what you’re talking about… because the chances are that they do in fact understand what you’re talking about. The look on their faces were completely classic.

on the other side: One time my best friend and I were people watching at the mall, and we randomly started rating the men around us. In sign language, of course. There was this one dude sitting near us and we start rating his looks and his body. I said that he looked like he had a nice butt, and that his eyes were really beautiful, with the color of the deep ocean. so I rated him a 10/10. Then he came over to us,and then told us in sign language: “Thanks for the compliments, ladies. you really made my day, haha.” We were both so shocked and embarrassed. heh. LadyMystery

https://giphy.com/gifs/aslnook-christmas-magic-xUOxf0u4gC1UyMxL8s

Hawaiian Angst

I was on a tour bus with my grandmother going to a luau in Hawaii, my grandmother spoke fluent Italian as both her parents were Italian immigrants. Two young women behind us were speaking to each other in Italian, probably assuming none of the other tourists could understand them. My grandmother told me (I don’t speak but a few words in Italian) that they were insulting everyone on the bus. She let it go on a while but just kept getting angrier and angrier as the ride went on. Finally she turned around and told them off, telling them they should be ashamed of themselves for being so rude. They looked so embarrassed and apologized to her profusely. Getting told off by a grandmother on a tour bus was not what they expected. trekkielady

Trilingual

This happened to my brother and father while they were traveling. Some dude walks up to my brother, thinking he is a local, and starts talking to him in Farsi. When he realized my brother didn’t understand, started saying really rude things, about him and my dad being stupid. My dad (fluent in Farsi) comes over, and rips this *sshole a second one. The dude feigned being apologetic, and made excuses for his attitude. As he was walking away, he started muttering more foul things about them, but in Turkish this time. Dad speaks Turkish as well, and proceeds to rip him a third *sshole. imacrazyperson

No Rice

The people at the Chinese food place on my campus spoke Chinese to the door exchange students. But even tho I spoke Chinese I just always spoke English to them since I have an accent when I speak Chinese. But one day I got all meat no rice since I had a rice maker at home. And when I was paying the lady says to the person beside her “fat ass wants meat no rice”. And I responded in Chinese, “actually I have rice at home”. They didn’t charge me for the order and started giving me a bit extra whenever I go there. NotA–ThrowAway

Don’t Insult My Style

I’m fluent in Spanish and was in a bank line in Lima and these two early middle aged women were in front of me have a mostly quiet chat. One was telling the other about this new young guy at work she was banging and describing all the crazy sex they were having, going into detail about all sorts of stuff.

The other wanted to know what he looked like and she was kind of describing him badly, and she kinda did a sly look around the bank, waited a few seconds and said in Spanish: “he looks like this guy behind us, but with blonde hair, much better looking and a much better dresser.” She did a good job of not gesturing towards me when she said it, but it didn’t stop me from hearing it.

So she goes back to discussing details about hooking up with him at work and they don’t notice the line has moved, and so without a warning throat clear I just say: “we all love the details back here but can you move forward?”

She went white as a ghost and they didn’t really talk for the rest of the wait, it was hilarious. Au_Struck_Geologist

https://giphy.com/gifs/finger-guns-dexter-lu8sliejbdeTe

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