Naturally, I cannot claim to be a fluent English speaker because it was never my native tongue. So there are many instances that I ‘murder’ the correct pronunciation especially when I am nervous. More so, if I am in a conversation with a foreigner.

I remember one funny moment during one of my sister’s visits in the country. She vacationed with her boyfriend, a Swedish who is more at ease speaking English than I. We were eating together inside my bahay kubo (a small hut made of Β indigenous materials) when I uttered my famous line. πŸ™‚

I tried to communicate with him using my rusty Swedish but to no avail. I could not get my message across clearly and precisely. So at first, I stammered, owing to the lack of practice. (We don’t encounter foreigners here a lot.)

Then, in an instant of lack of lucidity, my comment nearly ‘knocked out’ my sister’s boyfriend from where he sat.

“How ‘toothless’ of me?” I said excitedly, after I failed to uncover the lid of the casserole where the boiled shrimps ‘swam’ (I overdid the dish with more colorless soup than usual). Of course, I grinned generously, similar to what a game show hostess’ face like while presenting prizes to contestants.

He looked at me, or more precisely stared at my mouth. He was probably confused why I said the words or perhaps I was mistaken. He looked baffled.

Thankfully, my sister came to the rescue and clarified the misunderstanding with a polite laugh.

“Thoughtless, kuya (brother)!”

Yeah, I stood (literally) corrected!

How thoughtless of me not to say it correctly. (sighs)


9 thoughts on “Toothless

  1. This is a cute story!
    I studied English at university, but still I make mistakes when talking with native speakers… While I was living in England I learned to feel comfortable with my mistakes and just ask people how to pronounce or write a given word, but as you said before, it’s hard to practice on your own πŸ™‚
    Greetings from Chile!

  2. You write well! It is so easily done to make mistakes. My husband made a mistake when we were in Greece, he recognised a word
    ‘anguria’, meaning watermelon in Italian, and assumed it must be the same in Greek. The waiter looked perplexed, when we asked for it at the end of a meal, as it meant cucumber in Greek!

  3. I’ve lived in England for over 20 years and these kind of things still happen to me. On the other hand I’ve sometimes had to interpret for people from different parts of England who could not understand each other’s accents, so…Being a native speaker doesn’t always give you an advantage!

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