Look out for the future, because you never know what it might bring…
Question #89809 posted on 07/08/2017 11:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board Multilinguals,

What's your best story of people not realizing you can understand them?

A-DAWG

A:

Dear a dog,

I don't have any amazing ones, but it was really fun in Ghana to learn a little bit of the local language Twi, because when you understood literally anything, or spoke literally anything, they'd flip a lid. So sometimes they'd say something simple to us or a friend in Twi, and they would freak out when we would respond.

Other than that, once on a train ride in Poland I was with my parents speaking English, in a compartment with two other people, a guy and a girl who looked like they were in their mid twenties. I'm sure they assumed that I only spoke English, but I listened in on a two and a half hour conversation where this guy was flirting it up, hardcore. I quickly realized that they didn't know each other before the train ride, but dang, the guy was smooth. The girl told him about her boyfriend pretty early on in the conversation, but that really didn't seem to deter the guy, so I'm not sure what kind of lessons I really learned, but he was certainly persistent. But it was really funny to listen to the conversation knowing they had no idea I could understand everything. I made sure to bid them both farewell in Polish, and it's always funny and a little satisfying to see the momentary confusion on their face when they realize I speak Polish.

Also, there were of course countless times on my mission where people made comments about the weirdly dressed Americans in public, having no idea we could understand.

Keep it real,
Sherpa Dave