I wanted to talk to them about a majestic animal, but they laughed at me how could I find such an animal majestic. I told them what they are not allowed to do, but they insisted that they will do it anyway. Despite all this, I still wanted to try to befriend them, so I promised I will bring presents to them. This is when they first panicked and then angrily chased me away.

Who was I talking to, and why did we misunderstand each other so much?

  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps a song? $\endgroup$
    – Dr Xorile
    Sep 17 '15 at 21:36
  • $\begingroup$ Sorta reminds me of Jack Skellington. $\endgroup$
    – Kingrames
    Sep 17 '15 at 23:12
  • $\begingroup$ "When going back home, I told them my plane departs at noon, but no one came to say goodbye. Instead they insisted I was talking about flying at midnight." $\endgroup$
    – Sleafar
    Sep 18 '15 at 5:58

You were talking to

German people.


you are relatively inexperienced in german yourself, and made many common englishmen's mistakes (like abusing cognates) while learning it, leading to all these misunderstandings.

For example, firstly,

you said "Eagle" or "Igel" when you meant "Adler", and was misunderstood as saying that hedgehogs were majestic animals.


When they said it wasn't majestic, you said "nicht müssen" (translating "not" and "must" individually) where you should have said "nicht dürfen". Instead of "must not", they understood "don't have to", so they continued.

You, aware of these misunderstandings, didn't blame them and instead tried to befriend them by promising a gift. However,

the word "gift" in German means "poison", so you went from being just a weird guy who likes hedgehogs to a psychopath who threatens people with poison (presumably because they don't share his affinity for hedgehogs).

And thats's when they panicked and started chasing you away.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Cool solution! After reading, I was expecting a german name for the solver but instead a handle that is half Russian, half Portuguese; nice! $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Sep 18 '15 at 3:16
  • $\begingroup$ The correct translation of "must not" is "nicht dürfen": dict.tu-chemnitz.de/… $\endgroup$
    – Sleafar
    Sep 18 '15 at 4:55
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It could also be Dutch: the Dutch word for poison is also "gift". You could also have said "kuiken" to refer to an adult chicken as majestic, when it means chick. $\endgroup$ Sep 18 '15 at 5:01
  • $\begingroup$ Oops, you're correct. I messed up, it was supposed to read "nicht dürfen". $\endgroup$
    – MathET
    Sep 18 '15 at 5:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The idea was given by remembering a professor, who was ethnic German but taught a science class in English. His English was almost perfect, his pronunciation also very good. However, he still made the typical German mistake of introducing an optional homework as "You should do it, but you must not do it", instead of "You should do it, but you are not required to do it". $\endgroup$
    – vsz
    Sep 18 '15 at 15:35

Haven't figured out the animals, but...

Your friend is misunderstanding you so much because

he's German. "Gift" is the German word for "Poison".


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