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Tourist Arrested After Ordering 'Grenade' by Mistake

Almost everyone who has tried learning a new language has an embarrassing story to tell of a time they confused two words.


Of course, it shouldn't really be embarrassing, because we all make mistakes when we're learning.


And usually these mistakes just cause a bit of confusion.


But as a tourist in Portugal found out this autumn, one small mistake can get you into a lot of trouble!


According to The Telegraph, a Russian speaker from Azerbaijan was visiting a restaurant in Lisbon. And he was trying to order a fruit drink made from pomegranate.


The man, who has not been named, used a translation app to help him, and wrote his order on a napkin to show the waiter.


But instead of writing the Portuguese word for "pomegranate," he had written the word for "grenade."


The waiter thought the man was making a threat that he had a grenade, and he called the police.


Pictures in the local news appeared to show the man lying on the ground outside the restaurant, with five police officers around him, who later put him in handcuffs.


But after police spoke to the man at the police station, and searched his hotel room and the restaurant, he was released.


According to The Independent, there may be a good reason for the man's confusion.


In Russian, the words for "pomegranate" and "grenade" are almost exactly the same: granat and granata.


In Portuguese, the word the tourist wanted was romã, and not the one he wrote: grenada.


He might want to choose to order orange juice next time!



Questions

1.

What are your thoughts on the tourist's mistake?

2. How do you imagine the man felt when the police arrived?

3. Have you ever made a funny or embarrassing mistake in English?

4. Are there any words in English that you often get confused?

5. Are there any words in your language that sound the same but have very different meanings?


6.

What advice would you give to someone who's afraid of making mistakes in a foreign language?

7. Learning by making mistakes and not duplicating them is what life is about. — Lindsay Fox. What are your thoughts on this statement?












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