I’m in Russian 101 this semester, and in general I find it awfully easy. This is because I speak Bulgarian, which is pretty closely related to Russian. (Although it doesn’t have cases, so I find the Russian cases just as baffling as everyone else in my class.) Imagine someone who speaks Portuguese taking a Spanish class. So, I must admit, my approach to studying is somewhat lackadaisical. Also, it’s an undergrad class and I’m a grad student, so I don’t actually get credit for it.
This is why I hadn’t bothered to study for a vocabulary quiz on Tuesday*. One of the words on the quiz, which I was expected to translate from English into Russian, was “fruit”. Well, I didn’t know the word for fruit. So I did what anyone would do in this situation - I wrote the Bulgarian word for fruit, which is плод (plod). Russian-speakers will know where this is going.
My professor gave me back my quiz yesterday and laughed as he congratulated me on my mad skillz in making shit up, and explained that while плод is the OLD Russian word for fruit, it has a different meaning in modern Russian.
Well, at least I learned this before I tried to tell a Russian person I like having fetuses for breakfast.
Share your own ridiculous language-learning errors!
*I still got an 85. I’m okay with this.