This is an entry into the Fortnightly topic Challenge: 35

Bob has had a few weird experiences with different people. Can you tell what is happening here?

The final answer will tell you, why English shouldn't be the National Language.

  1. Bob in a Mechanic's shop says, "Take it Apart man". The man tells him he knows about a flat.
  2. Bob says to a (very very very very)Old man about an Eelpout and he started talking about a Burbot.
  3. Bob tells the man to do it fast. The man says that he can't make it everlasting.
  4. Bob tells his friend he has given up smoking. His friend asks him why he has given up a suit.
  5. Bob complains about Fred to Yuki describing Fred as a brat. Yuki tells Bob he didn't know that Fred was his relative.
  6. Bob tells his girlfriend to give him a kiss. She looks at him weirdly why he needs her to go to the toilet.
  7. Bob, the CEO of a famous company tells his foreign counterpart he will reach by air. When he arrived, no one was there. Instead every receiving person was at the sea port.
  8. Bob just let out a fart. Bob apologizes, saying, "Sorry, that was my fart". His friends remark at him incredulously, "What speed?"
  9. Bob tells his boss, "I have brought you a gift!". His boss remarks sternly, "You want to kill me? You are fired!"

2 Answers 2


Aggregating everyone else's answers below

1. Apartment (English) = Apartman (CROATIAN) (@hagfy)
2. The burbot fish is known by some older folks as an eelpout, so OLD ENGLISH(@hagfy)
3. Fast (English) = Permanent (NORWEGIAN) (@ManyPinkHats)
4. Tuxedo (English) = Smoking (FRENCH) (@Kant1)
5. Brat (English) = Brother (UKRAINIAN)(@hagfy)
6. Kiss (English) = Urine (SWEDISH) (@Rand al'Thor and @athin)
7. Air (English) = Water (INDONESIAN) (@Rand al'Thor and @athin)
8. Fart (English) = Speed (NORWEGIAN) (@Rand al'Thor)
9. Gift (English) = Poison (GERMAN) (@Rand al'Thor)

Taking the first letter of each makes

CONFUSING (@GentlePurpleRain)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is correct! Well done! Do you mind if you turn this into a Community-Wiki? It seems a lot of people contributed to the solving of this puzzle. $\endgroup$
    – Sid
    Jun 7, 2018 at 17:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Sid Sorry, forgot to add a comment about that, but yes, by all means, do what you'd like to it. It was definitely a group effort. $\endgroup$
    – hagfy
    Jun 7, 2018 at 17:32
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Old English? That one's fishy ... $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Jun 7, 2018 at 18:23

This puzzle is about

false friends: words which mean different things in different languages.

  1. In Croatian (or Hungarian), "apartman" means apartment (flat).

  2. Apparently this is supposed to be Old English, because eelpout is an old word for burbot. Mehhhhh. (Thanks @hagfy!)

  3. In Norwegian, "fast" means permanent (thanks @ManyPinkHats!)

  4. In French, "smoking" apparently means tuxedo (thanks @Kant1!)

  5. In Ukrainian (or Russian or Polish etc.), "brat" means brother.

  6. In Swedish, "kiss" means urine.

  7. In Indonesian, "air" means water.

  8. In Norwegian, "fart" means speed.

  9. In German, "gift" means poison.

So the answer is


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Number 7 is (vaqbarfvna) I suppose as ((nve)) means ((jngre)) $\endgroup$
    – athin
    Jun 7, 2018 at 16:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ number 6 may be ((fjrqvfu)), as ((xvff)) means ((crr)) $\endgroup$
    – athin
    Jun 7, 2018 at 16:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ number 4 rot13(va serapu n ghkrqb vf bsgra pnyyrq n fzbxvat) $\endgroup$
    – Kant1
    Jun 7, 2018 at 16:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I suspect that the final solution is rot13(pbashfvat). $\endgroup$ Jun 7, 2018 at 16:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Number 3 is probably ROT13 (Abejrtvna sbe 'creznarag' vf 'snfg') $\endgroup$ Jun 7, 2018 at 16:54

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