When learning another language, there are always certain words that are really funny or bizarre. The example I used in the title was the french word “phoque” (pronounced exactly like “fuck”) is a seal. In Taiwan, they say “gan” (“to do”) to mean “fuck,” but in parts of china they still use “gan” (also “gou”, I believe) to just mean “to do.” So, Taiwanese find it funny sometimes when a Chinese person asks what someone does for a living using the word “gan” or “gou.”
Also, there are certian words that are funny when written. Swedish is a good example of this. “Slut,” I believe, means “stop.” “Skulle” means “imagine.” “Fred” means “peace.”
This holds even among English and American: fanny, fag, etc.
I’m just curious what other words people find funny when learning languages. I mean this also for people learning english. For instance, the vegetable “beet” in english is pronounced exactly like the french word for “dick.”
The second person singular imperative form of the Latin verb *facio * (meaning to make or to do) is often written as fac and pronounced like you know what. This was the source of endless mirth at school in Latin classes.
Arche is arch in French, but Arsch is ass in German. This would ordinarily not be a problem, but my mom wears Arche shoes from France. I wonder what name they’re sold under in German speaking countries.
The Italian river Po and the British English po-faced (denoting a serious, disapproving or humourless expression) look just a bit amusing to a speaker of German as Po (noun, m.) in German means “bottom/buttocks/arse/ass”.
When I read about a po-faced British official I get an inappropriate mental picture.
You’re thinking of einfahrt and ausfahrt (literally, “intravel” and “outtravel”), which is how freeway entrances and exits are labeled in Germany. I remember a newcomer in Frankfurt telling how she was wondering where the big city of Ausfahrt was, since there were so many exits to it.