Humor of Language Learners

Humor of Travel Language is from the book Dave Barry’s Only Travel Guide You’ll Ever Need.

Here is an excerpt from the chapter How to Speak a Foreign Language in Just 30 Minutes (Without Necessarily Having Any Idea What You Are Saying) pages 26-27.


One of the great things about being an American, aside from, the constitutionally guaranteed freedom to have obscene bumper stickers, is that so many foreign people speak our language (English). 

You can walk the streets of just about any major city in the world, and as soon as the natives realize that you’re an American, they’ll make you feel right at home.

“Stick them up!” they’ll say.  “Please to be handing over your American Express traveler’s checks!  Don’t leave home without them!”

Yes, they are clever, those natives.

Nevertheless, you may sometimes find yourself in a foreign situation wherein members of the local population, because of a poor educational system or sheer laziness, have not learned to speak your language fluently.

This can lead to serious problems, as for example when you are in Spain, attempting to obtain a chicken-salad sandwich, and you wind up with a dish whose name, when you look it up in your Spanish-English dictionary, turns out to mean “Eel with the Big Abscess.”

This is why I strongly recommend that before you Travel abroad, you learn to speak a foreign language, ideally the same one that is spoken in whatever country you’re going to.



Links to Humorous Stories about Learning Languages:

FRENCH: humorous stories about learning English are in Humor of Language Learners 1.