I just started going to “autoskola” (driver’s ed) here, and we were talking about train crossings. I understood everything fine, but I had a question about the flashing lights on the sign before the tracks (an intelligent question, I assure you!). To understand what went wrong, you need to know that we had just been talking about blinkers, which in Czech are called “blinkery” (one of the only words similar to English). There’s a slightly different word for when the blinkers are flashing.
I wanted to ask a question about the flashing lights, and confused the two words. I ended up combining both words and asked if the lights “blinkat”, which means vomit!! The question then sounded something like: What do I do when the white light is vomiting?
I didn’t realize what I was saying until it came out of my mouth, but thankfully, nobody noticed. I tried to keep a straight face, but couldn’t stop giggling after that, because of how ridiculous the question was. Every time the thought crossed my mind, I cracked a smile, and had to practice some serious self-control to not burst out in laughter in front of my teacher and the whole class.
Oh my, I’ll never know this language completely perfectly, but I guess it’s important to remind myself that it just adds another layer of humor and adventure to an MK’s life!