February 9, 2023 | Eul Basa

Bilingual People Reveal Times They Overheard Someone Badmouthing Them

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” - Ludwig Wittgenstein

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” - Frank Smith

People are usually smarter than we give them credit for. But, at the same time, a lot of people underestimate the abilities of others, especially when it comes to languages. English, Spanish, and Mandarin are spoken all over the globe by a wide range of people, but we live in a globalized world, which means that many other languages are also widely spoken.

Given this fact, there must be some truly embarrassing and funny stories of people talking trash others in a language they didn’t know the others spoke. Good thing for Reddit, because it's easier than ever to know about these hilarious stories. From Swahili to Swedish, the funny to the shocking, here are some of the best stories Redditors shared.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factshuffpost

43. Flattering Your Soulmate

It's actually a story where the opposite happened. I got caught when I thought no one could understand. I was traveling in Spain with my best friend and we met this incredibly cute guy from New York. We kept talking about how he was handsome and was charming in front of him in french. We were also joking that he was my international soulmate and other ridiculous stuff.

We always talked in english with him but one day a new girl comes and she speaks only french. He started talking to her in PERFECT french. I was so embarrassed I avoided him and never looked him in the eyes again.

Bilingual Trash Talk Facts123rf

42. So That’s How You Get A Silent Neighbor On A Flight

I’m Brazilian and was flying to Rio from Atlanta. There were these two very attractive girls with their mother speaking English very fluently and one of them had their seat right next to mine. We exchanged some courtesy in English as I just assumed they were American and so did they. They were Brazilian-Americans and so did not have an accent and I started speaking English from a young age so as long as I don’t talk too much I can go unnoticed.

So they start putting their carry on luggage in the bin overhead and the mother says to her daughters, in Portuguese:

“Coitado, tá achando que vou deixar uma de vocês sentar do lado dele.”

Which means:
“Poor thing, he thinks I’ll let one of you sit next to him.”

So I just turn to her and say, in Portuguese:
“Don’t worry, ma’am, I’m just being polite. I do have a girlfriend and it’ll be a pleasure to share this flight with you.”

She just went: “oh”

And then she sat there in silence for the whole flight.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factspmaettralala

41. Props For Keeping A Straight Face

We had a large family reunion dinner at a restaurant and we were all sharing stories. My funny Uncle was telling us how he used to pretend he was deaf and his sister would translate. To prove it, he asked the waitress to get the manager. When he came over, my Uncle started signing to him... with made up and exaggerated gestures.

My Aunt told him that the food was good and the server was excellent... all the while the manager just smiled and nodded. When they were done “talking,” the manager said in sign language, he spoke ASL and knew it was BS. We blew up laughing and my Uncles face turned beet red.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsthe better india

40. World Cup Pride

I'm a Mexican who speaks Hebrew fluently.

I was actually in the US in a deli around the time when the World Cup was going on in 2014. I was wearing a National team jersey and had been watching with family. We usually paint the colors of our flag on our cheeks (tradition). The game was over and we were getting food.

So my parents, brother and I walk into a booth. We sit and the people behind us (three middle aged women) start speaking in Hebrew saying: "look at these stupid Mexicans (which should have been a giveaway since the word for Mexicans in Hebrew is "mexicanim") being loud and thinking they own the place. Typical."

Well, I turn around look at them and answer in Hebrew: "Yes we are very proud of our country and the great job they are doing at the World Cup. If it bothers you, you can move."

The look on their faces was priceless. I've never felt so empowered... until Mexico did a crap job and got eliminated from the cup.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsczeshop

39. Getting Some Free Food

The people at the Chinese food place on my campus spoke Chinese to the door exchange students. But even though 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 guy 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.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factslatimes

38. Wrecking A Handicap Basher

Me and my friend were sharing a cab with two girls we didn't know. Just decided to share a taxi with them, because it was a long way and we wanted to save some money. They started speaking Swedish not knowing my friend is also Finnish Swede (her mother language is Swedish, she has been in Swedish school, but is Finn and speaks Finnish fluently). I understand Swedish but I was too drunk to care. Suddenly she texts me:

"They are planning to leave us with the bill."

I texted that we should tell the driver so my friend just said:

"These girls will pay half of this, before they leave."

He got the hint and didn't open the doors before they paid.

Also another time I was in an airport with my aunt. She had broken her leg so she was in a wheelchair, but because we were going to a beach holiday, we decided not to cancel it. Now my aunt has lived in Germany and speaks it fluently, I've lived there too so I understand it well, but I'm not fluent. We speak Finnish, something just to pass the time when flight attendant asks us to go on the plain first. This middle aged man turns to his wife and says in German:

"I don't think disabled people should be allowed on planes."

My aunt, who is a truly a great woman, asks me to stop, I was pushing her wheelchair, turns to the man and says in perfect German:

"I'm sorry sir, but I broke my leg and didn't want to cancel my holiday plans. You are being incredibly offensive towards handicapped people and I feel sorry for your wife. Have a nice flight."

He turned red, couldn't even say anything to us and just looked away. His wife looked mortified.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsyoutube

37. Taking It In Stride

My family and I went to Sri Lanka for two weeks to see where my mom grew up and general beach stuff. For some reason we were like the only people in the hotel we were staying at aside from a wedding party that left a day after we got there.

A few days in there was another family staying there, I believe from Suriname and we were all chilling at the pool and decided to play a game of water polo against each other.

Things got exciting and one of the daughters yelled out something in Dutch like "go for the big fat guy!" my Dutch dad replied "what big fat guy?" And everybody laughed.

Just a simple story but it was pretty sweet.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsthought co

36. Wisdom Teeth Don’t Bring Wisdom

Oh I LOVE this one: So I was working at a dental clinic in Germany, and these two guys walk in and start speaking in Arabic, not knowing that both I and my supervisor can understand it.

The first guy (actual patient) is nervously telling his friend and this would never work, and his friend is telling him to shut up and play along, so the supervisor and I try to figure out what kinda game they're trying to play.

Apparently, they were trying to lie about the patient's age to get his dental treatment done for free; (I don't know how that worked, I was just an intern) unlucky for him, his teeth told the truth (you can't fake being 16 when your wisdom teeth are ALL THE WAY out)

So me and my supervisor shut up about it, and I'm in actual pain trying to hold back from laughing as the friend is convincing the patient that we're idiots who don't speak Arabic and cant understand their trick. Of course until i can't anymore and decide to discuss the case with my supervisor. Right there in front of them. In Arabic.

I have never seen someone turn so many different colours so fast.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factssaraabduldesigns

35. Taking It Too Far

I am an innocent little white girl who happens to be fluent in mandarin.

I was walking outside of school thinking about the color of petunias when all of a sudden an angry Asian mother appears dragging her poor daughter by the ear.

I had encountered multiple asian mothers before and knew it was best to avoid, so I continued walking and thinking about the important topic of flower colors. It took me thirty seconds to realize that this mother was different from all the others.

She was ballistic. I'm talking foaming at the mouth, smoke coming out of her ears ballistic. She shouted more profanities than a sailor who got his socks stolen from him. As I understood it, the poor girl who she was dragging had gotten a B in Chem Honors during the first grading period.

These grading periods don't matter on your transcript, and the girl had a full 12 weeks to get her grade higher. Her loving mother then accused her of purposefully dishonoring the family with her low grades and asked her if I wanted to end up like a prostitute like that dumb white slut. Using my wonderful skills of inference, I deduced that I was that dumb white slut.

Now, I can put up being called dumb. I can put up being called white, and I can put up being called a slut or a prostitute. But a dumb white slut, that crosses the line.

I proceeded to walk up to the asian mother and informed her that she ought to acknowledge how hard her daughter was trying and the purpose of the first grading period of Chem Honors was to weed out the slackers. I also told her the average grade in that class was a C (which it wasn't) and that she shouldn't go assuming random people on the street were prostitutes. The girl looked ready to hug me.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factstext shorthand


34. Picture Day Fashion

Picture day, we have it during registration before the school year starts.

I'm in line and my Korean friend is behind me.

His mom comes up to be in line with him and his sister.

Scolding him in Korean for his choice of clothing for picture day.

Then starts to talk about how my choice of clothing was bad, jeans, t-shirt, and light jacket.

Me turning around and saying "안녕하세요," hello in Korean.

Friend's mom: "ohh... You're Korean!"

Friend: "Now you like him!"

Bilingual Trash Talk Factswikihow

33. Thank You For Proving My Point!

Said something like "You need to be careful when talking crap about someone in your native language, there might always be someone who understands you" in German while I was in Italy. A woman who was walking by responded "Like me for example."

Bilingual Trash Talk Factstalisman

32. Brick Were Pooped

When I was in highschool I babysat for a professional translator who was brilliant with languages. She tutored students in: Cantonese, Mandarin, English, Spanish, Italian, Greek, and French. I can't verify the truth of this story, but this is one she told me.

She had married a Chinese man she met in Hong Kong while she was studying languages; he was from a successful family and so before they married they took a few weeks to "tour" his extended family in the interior of mainland China. Staying at a relative's house for a week or something, then moving to the next relative.

A lot of the relatives were very upset about their darling male heir marrying this western girl, so he basically begged her to say nothing and that once they were married they could return to Canada and ignore their family's BS. His family was all about good appearances and good name.

So she bites her tongue for an entire month of hearing aunts, cousins, and basically every female relative in this guys family crap talking her in Chinese under the assumption she can't understand what they're saying.

Then they all gather for the wedding, this massive extended family that cares so much about their image, and are all terribly disappointed in her... and she starts exchanging vows* in flawless Chinese. Bricks were shat.

Bilingual Trash Talk Facts

31. He’s Not Wrong

I had been dating a girl that I met through our school's theater group (we were building the sets, not acting). She brought her dad in one day to show off her work, and they're talking to each other in German. I'd never met him, so I'm just minding my own business until a good opportunity to introduce myself, when he suddenly starts talking to her about idiot wearing sandals at a construction site (me).

I hop down off a pile of wood and say in German, "well so far I've managed not to injure myself, and they're just so comfortable!"

And just to make things even better, while he's still got this shocked expression on his face, she says, "So daddy, this is my boyfriend... the one I told you about who speaks German..."

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsslack

30. Tourist Prices Suck

When I went back home for a holiday some of my friends from Australia came with me. We were at a shop buying stuff when the shopkeeper and his friend, thinking we were all tourists were discussing how much to overcharge us.

I pretended to not understand until we got the register, when he gave us the jacked up price I spoke in my language and asked him to give the real price and not the "tourist rate." The look on his face was priceless.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsseybienne

29. There Is No Giraffe Currency

My mom lived in Thailand for a couple years in highschool. A bunch of girls were ferrying people across a stream, and one of their patrons at the same time as my mom was extremely tall and lanky. The girls started joking in Thai that he looked like a giraffe.

When they got to the opposite bank, and the girls held out their hands for payment, the man simply said in perfect Thai "Giraffes don't have money" and left.

Bilingual Trash Talk Facts

28. Duhh...

I was on the bus and a group of overseas students came on. They started talking to each other about technology and their Playstations or PS3 or DS or some crap like that in Chinese.

Suddenly, the white guy in front of them turns around and says "Hey are you guys talking about Playstations/PS3/DS" and the students were like "omg.. he understands us" and answered in English something relevant.

A minute later, they were speaking Chinese again trying to figure out how the guy knew they were talking about said Playstation/PS3/DS. Suddenly I turn around and go "It's because Playstation/PS3/DS is an English word." And turn back around.

They were all like "ooooohh...

Bilingual Trash Talk Factskeepcalm-o-matic

27. Class Applause

China. It was a public university and many of the students, especially Han Chinese (the majority) had some resentment towards being forced to learn English when there are more Chinese speakers in the world.

On the first day of class I decided to address this question as well as the struggle of learning a foreign language.

"I know how hard it is to learn a foreign language" I explained. "I have been studying foreign languages since I was 12, often having a lot of trouble in my classes. Don't hesitate to talk to me if you have an issue. That being said this is an English class. I expect you to speak English. Also, I speak five languages. I will not tell you what they are, but I promise you that if you try to use another language in class I will still understand you."

With that, a smart aleck student stands up and in the Golok dialect of Amdo Tibetan says "Really? Is that so? Then do you understand what I'm saying?"

At which point I looked up and, in a similar (Tsongon) dialect of Amdo Tibetan responded "Oh! Tibetan! So, where is your hometown?"

The kid went dead silent and sat back down. The rest of the class applauded.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsyoutube

26. The Basics

Old ladies in China would always talk about me when I was buying groceries.

"What's she buying?" "Vegetables." "Do you think she knows how to cook them?" "I don't know if foreigners can cook vegetables."

Bilingual Trash Talk Factspinterest

25. Just...Don't Fat Shame

I speak Bengali.

Let's get this story underway, Shall we?

This was two or three years ago, during a normal school day. Me and a couple of friends were headed to lunch, Talking about random stuff, when we pass the main office. My friend makes an excuse about forgetting something in the main office and walks inside, like good friends, I follow him inside. He goes up to the desk and start talking, and I wait patiently by the door.

Suddenly, I hear in Bengali: "The kid standing by the door is fat, you're never going to be this fat are you?" I flip around, and see a woman with a small sixth grader standing beside her. She gives me a smile and walks past.

As she passes, I say, again in Bengali: "Did you really think I didn't hear you?"

She stops, looks at me, then just picks up her pace.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsjbertho

24. Ice Cream Stare Down

So, when living in Germany, a friend and I were in little ice-creamery talking with each other in English. A pair of German teens said, in German, "Freakin' Americans are so damn loud." My friend, being the guy he is, said in English "Freaking Germans are so damn annoying."

The teens turn from their booth and ask in English "What did you say?" to which my friend, in perfect German, replies "Sorry, I didn't know you understood English."

The dirtiest look I've ever seen was exchanged before they stood up, ice cream in hand, and left.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factssekretaria

23. Racist Fear Mongering Goes Wrong

I must have been 10 or 11 years old. We had taken big family trip to Disney World (my immediate family plus my aunt, uncle, and cousins). On the way back we had stopped outside a McDonalds for dinner and my little cousin was misbehaving and just not eating.

There's these two 30ish black guys a few tables down from us and my aunt kept telling my little cousin that the two black guys would take him away if he didn't eat. She was telling him this in Vietnamese and when the two guys were done eating they walked over to her table and said "Hello" in almost perfect Vietnamese.

My aunt was sooo mortified, she almost started crying. We all thought it was funny because my aunt deserved it for being a racist.

Bilingual Trash Talk FactsEpic Rap Battles of History Wiki

22. That’ll Get Them To Shut Up

I'm an English teacher in Korea. The amount of Korean I speak is extremely minimal, only a few words and phrases. I teach elementary students, who at first thought I spoke no Korean, and they used to say things about me in Korean quite frequently.

Some of it I knew they were talking badly about me, some I didn't' understand but still knew it was about me, some wasn't bad but they were still talking in Korean so I wouldn't know what they were saying. One day one of the students got up and asked to go back to his homeroom for a minute.

I asked why and he replied in Korean that he forgot his book (I really wasn't at all sure this was what he said, I was mostly guessing from context).

I said sure, you can go get it if you hurry. The entire class simultaneously turns to face me with their mouths wide open. You can just see it dawning on their faces that "holy crap, the teacher actually understands everything we were saying." So basically I have my entire class of students convinced I speak fluent Korean when I'm actually probably at the level of a two year old.

Bilingual Trash Talk FactsPretty Cure Wiki

21. But, You Said The Next One

This isn't my story, but a professor of an asian studies class I took is white, from upstate NY, and fluent in Chinese. On a train in Beijing he was eavesdropping on two Chinese girls talking about one's boyfriend. The girl was saying how after such a long time her boyfriend had still not asked her to marry and she was getting extremely frustrated with the situation.

She said, effectively, after all this I'll say yes to the next guy who asks me to marry him. My professor, after listening to the whole conversation, gets down on one knee and in Chinese, asks for her hand in marriage. The girls dropped jaws and nervously abandoned the train at the next exit.

Bilingual Trash Talk FactsBlackcity girl

20. That Is Some Poor Swahili

In Zanzibar the young men that walk around and try to get you set up to go on spice tours or snorkeling use "hakuna matata" ("no worries") as a slogan when they're talking to tourists. I was sitting outside at a cafe and one of these young guys comes up and asks if I want to go on a spice tour.

I said no thanks but when he responds instead of saying "hakuna matata" he says "hakuna matiti" ("no titties"). So I just looked down at my chest and was like "I don't know what you're talking about, they're right here" in Swahili. The look on his face was choice.

Bilingual Trash Talk Facts

19. Cash Money Millionaire

When I worked at Kmart, a Bosnian family came through my line. Everything they were buying was for the son, and he paid himself. He made a big show giving me a $50 bill, like it was a 500€ piece. His mom told him to hurry up and the kid goes, "I'm letting her enjoy this money, she's probably never seen such a big bill." I was like, "What? I'm a cashier. I see money all day."

Freak of a kid. Hate to be his mom.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsknow your meme

18. Double Whammy Farsi Surprise

I speak Farsi (Persian). While in college, I was waiting in line at Subway to order and there were two other Persians behind me complaining about the girl in front of me taking too long to order her sandwich. They began to comment on how hot she was and all of the naughty things they'd both do to her.

One says something like "I wouldn't mind licking some of that sweet onion sauce off her body." I'm standing there smirking, fully aware that these guys have no idea I know what they're saying.

She finishes her order, pays, and as she leaves turns to the guys behind me and says in Farsi, "your mothers would be ashamed to hear how you talk about women" and leaves. I was as surprised as they were, but the difference was they looked mortified while I was trying not to double over with laughter.

I order my sandwich and on my way out I smirk at them and say in Farsi "she's right you know" and catch their returning looks of utter horror as I walk past them.

Bilingual Trash Talk FactsHrvatske Novine

17. Piling It On

From a lecture I was at a few years ago. The lecture hadn't started yet, and people were chatting. In front of me were two Israeli girls, chatting to each other in Hebrew. I speak a little Hebrew; not great, but I was able to get the gist of what they were saying. They were making fun of the older lady in front of them, mocking her clothing and appearance and so on.

After a few minutes of talking about her and laughing, the lady turns around and says, in Hebrew, "You shouldn't assume that no one can understand you, you know." At which point the guy sitting next to them says, in Hebrew, "Yeah, you really were being very rude." At which point a third person, a woman sitting in the row behind me, leaned forward and called them idiots, in Hebrew.

By now I'm cracking up, and getting looks from those seated nearby. I didn't have anything clever to add, just wheezed out that I spoke Hebrew between laughs. The four of us just laughed and laughed, while the two girls tried to slide into the floor.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsjournal dune beauty junky

16. Why Would You Kick A Ball In A Museum?!

I can speak German.

At my job in a museum, there was a group of people who came in. However, they didn't come to see the museum, they just came to sit on our benches, throw a soccer ball around (inside a museum? why?) and act generally as one does outside having a picnic, not sitting inside a museum.

I asked them to a) stop throwing the ball around, because you know, old things and people and b) to be a little quieter, as people were trying to read and listen to things.

They didn't really respond, and kept on doing what they were doing. I hear one of the women go in German "She's so stupid. We can do whatever we want here, the ball won't hurt anything."
I immediately snap back in German "Yes, it can. Now you need to either stop kicking the ball around, or leave."

They looked horrified, and left.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsflickr

15. That Finnished That Conversation

I was a handsome young man of 25 and, at a wedding reception, I was introduced to two women about 40-ish years old. I shook hands with one and she immediately acted as a translator and spoke Finnish to the other, introducing me.

The second woman, in Finnish, shaking my hand and looking me straight in the eye said, "Oh, what a cutie! If I was ten years younger, the things I would do to this man!" The first one, again acting as a translator, said "She is very pleased to meet you."

In Finnish I said "Apparently so. What exactly would she do to me if she was ten years younger?"

Their faces turned so red they almost turned purple.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsmyfirstfx

14. Drugs Please

I was a peace corps volunteer in Vanuatu. I contracted malaria while I was there. I was in agony. The doctor told one of the other doctors "he only has 5% malaria in his blood. I would be up playing football." I groaned "I speak Bislama. Give me drugs."

Bilingual Trash Talk Factssteemit

13. Spanish Is (Almost) Universal

Just recently, at a party, I overheard the latinos say, "Poor girl, she doesn't know what we are saying, yet she keeps laughing at the jokes just because she sees everyone else laughing."

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsprof magazine

12. Not Even Going To Let Them Know

My best friend is from Mexico. I had to go with her to her grandmother's house and her entire family was there. I had just gotten out of the shower and so my hair was wet. Her cousins didn't know that I could speak Spanish so they just went on and on about how stupid I looked.

I didn't say anything back though because I think it's pretty funny when people don't know I can understand almost everything they're saying.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsunsplash

11. Trust is Dubious

Spanish person living in London here. My bf and I were on the tube when a Spanish woman starts criticising everyone around her and making petty comments about their appearance etc. We looked at each other and telepathically agree to not say a word in Spanish for a while so we start talking in English to each other.

As she goes on, she becomes more comfortable with the situation and gets meaner and louder. Then my boyfriend says to me in perfect Spanish "I can't wait to get home tonight, I am really tired." Instead of going red and shutting up, the woman looks straight at us and says, in Spanish, "You can't trust anyone", then proceeds to storm off the train with her family. So yes, apparently WE offended her.

Bilingual Trash Talk FactsPulsuz Mobil Portal!

10. Signing The Freaky Things

I speak(?) British Sign language. As you can imagine I don't get very many opportunities to overhear(?) things.

The only time I've been in public and seen it they were way more... Up front... about their conversation topic. Man and a woman, sitting in a Starbucks, Signing about their freaky sex the previous night...

That would not have happened if they were speaking.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsabc7

9. English is Required in Germany

German/English speaker here. While riding the train in Germany there were two American girls two seats in front of me. 17/18 years old maybe. For 45 minutes straight they spoke English and made fun of Germans for being dum etc.

When my stop came eventually I got up early and simply told them something like "You shouldn't say stuff like this in Germany. English is a must-have subject in school so I would say around 80% of the people here understand you just fine" and got out the train.

Bilingual Trash Talk Facts123RF

8. Trolling The Kid

I live in Taiwan (I am not local) and I was walking in Costco here one day, and there was a five-year-old kid sitting in the cart and he points at me and yells in Chinese "Look dad a white person."

So once the dad walked away from the cart, I came closer to the kid and whispered to him in Chinese "I know I am white thank you for pointing it out" and walked away. My friends were walking behind me and said his face just looked like he saw a ghost.

Bilingual Trash Talk Facts

7. Amusing Yourself Instead of Closing The Deal

I speak Spanish and no one ever assumes I do because of the blonde hair and blue eyes. I work in Sales and I love to listen to the things people say while in negotiations. Mostly people lie to me in English about what they have to spend or can afford and I use it to my advantage.

I had a lady with a pre-approved loan from her bank for $25k and she kept telling me that all she had was $23k and kept telling her friend that she planned to keep the extra $2k, I let the cat out of the bag and responded in Spanish that loans do not work that way and she could not simply "keep" the remainder.

She was very embarrassed, and left. In hindsight I probably could have closed the deal.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factstwitter

6. Orange You Glad I Speak German

I was watching the 2010 World Cup final in a bar in France and a German guy was telling his friend that I probably supported Holland because I was an orange bastard.

I walked past them at the end and said "good match, huh?" and the look on their faces was priceless.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsowlkids

5. Not A Princess

I grew up bilingual (English and Spanish) and was waiting for the train (this was in Chicago) It was kind of cold that night, but thankfully no wind. Being from Los Angeles, I was not used to this. This older hispanic woman standing a few feet away says to her friend, "mira a la princesita gringa. Se va a congelar." No, I am not a white girl princess and I probably won't freeze.

Bilingual Trash Talk Factsamvos

4. Cashier Revenge

So I'm a white Caucasian female, but I am fluent in Mandarin Chinese and English. Now, looking at me, you wouldn't know I can speak Mandarin, which is why I find it absolutely hysterical to mess with people. Especially when they come through my line at work speaking Chinese, and I understand every word they're saying.

My coworkers find it especially hysterical.

Okay, so the other day this Chinese couple came through my line, and I asked them (in English) all of the usual questions about bags and if they had their rewards cards, all of that fun stuff.

Anyway, I started ringing up their stuff, and the wife said to her husband, "Tell her not to bruise the bananas," in Chinese and I didn't say anything. Then the wife said, "Tell the stupid girl to go faster," in Mandarin. I smiled at her and pretended like I had no idea what she was saying.

She kept commenting on how my hair was like a boy's (I have short hair, it's honestly not even that short) and how her grandfather would have gone faster than I was going, all of this in chinese.

And then she said, "Make sure she doesn't forget the water," in Chinese.

I replied in English, "I won't forget the water."

And I watched with enjoyment as a look of sheer terror spread across her face, as she realized I understood everything she had said before. She just stood there with her mouth open and her husband said (in Chinese), "This is why you shouldn't trash talk employees while they're standing right in front of you!"

I replied (in English), "He's right, you know."

They paid, then the husband apologized and left. After they walked out the door, my manager and coworker and I were laughing so hard.

Even though being a cashier sucks, it sometimes makes my day a little brighter when something like that happens.


Bilingual Trash Talk Factsbrigitte

3. Caught Red-Worded

I'm Italian and even though I can't speak Spanish or Portuguese fluently I can understand pretty much everything... so when I was in the US I was dating this Brazilian girl. For about two months I never mentioned I can speak or understand Portuguese, because of the Latin roots I assumed she would have at least guessed that I was able understand it a bit.

Anyway, one night she came over to my place and she needed to use my computer, she went on Skype to talk to one of her friends, they were speaking in portu.

I was sitting next to her watching TV and her conversation with her friend was pretty much about me her and some other dude she was dating at the same time and that she was gonna spend the night at his place later on.

I didn't flinch a bit, just sat there for the whole conversation and once she was done I looked at her and told her in her language how good was the movie I was watching.

That was truly priceless, I can't even describe it, her jaw dropped, there was silence for a couple of minutes, then I said (in Portuguese) to get her stuff and leave.

She just left and never said a word.


Bilingual Trash Talk Factsderpibooru

2. Pro Level Shaming

I lived in South Korea for three years, but I never learned too much of the language. A friend of mine is 100% Korean but is very tall and was educated in America and New Zealand so she has an American accent. Her co-teachers at her school all assumed she couldn’t speak Korean so they would talk crap about her constantly while she would listen on and feel terrible. She said nothing for a whole year until she had to speak at the end of year ceremony.

The school offered her someone to translate but she refused and in front of 800 or so students and faculty members she delivered her address in perfect Korean. She subtly called out the coworkers that had spent an entire year calling her a foreign pig. Apparently one started crying from the shame of it. I wish I had got to see that.


Bilingual Trash Talk Factsfooji

1. Well, It Is A Little Funny Now

My friend got into an elevator in Korea with a couple of North American guys. She's Korean-Australian but doesn't speak a lot of Korean. The two guys spent the whole elevator ride talking about how hot she was and what they'd like to do to her. Then one of them wondered aloud how funny it would be if she spoke English. She got off first, turned around and said, "Is it still funny?"


Bilingual Trash Talk Facts

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