I used to think Russians had surnames ending with ski because of the skiing they do in Siberia.
This is a rather stupid one lol, but I used to think that foreign schoolkids, like ones from Kosovo or somewhere like that, would have to have 'special lessons' with speaking English. You get the idea.
I used to believe that "foofa" was the F-word in Spanish.
When I was little I believed that people who spoke a foreign language were translating to and from English in their minds.
I used to believe that all singers had to write their own lyrics and that if their language skills were not perfect, the mistakes would remain in the song.
English is not my mother tongue, and growing up I learned a lot of English from songs. But I was always a bit wary of songs by non-native English groups and singers. I was afraid that they had made mistakes (not knowing English perfectly) and that I'd acquire their mistakes.
I'm from a country that speaks Spanish, so as a little kid I didn't understand English much. So one day during summer when a was 6 and visiting the U.S.A I was in the car with my mother, grandmother, cousin, and sisters, we made a stop to a McDonald's with a play place, so they let us play in the play place. I wanted to know how to communicate with the American kids while playing with them, so I went like "AAAAAA NO FHSJSJSJDISMNEJM" because that apparently sounded English to me. I left several of them confused.
I used to believe that "paparazzi" was a Italian word that chefs said when they were making pizza. I stopped believing when my mother and my sister were talking about paparazzis. I asked what it meant, and they said that it is a photographer who takes pictures of famous people.
I used to think that Russian was just English backwards
I thought there were only 3 languages in the entire world - English, Spanish, and Chinese
I used to think that people from Australia spoke Australian and that people from Austria spoke Austrian
I thought that Korean and Japanese sounded the same.
Since Germans speak German, I thought Jewish people spoke Jewish.
I used to think that the word "Germanic" had something to do with being sick
I once thought english was the only real language and the others were just made up
Sometimes i would hear my mom speak German while talking on the phone with someone, since she is of German ancestry. The only languages I knew were English and Spanish(my dad is Mexican), so I thought she was just speaking in a made-up "secret code language", because she was talking about something secret that she didn't want me to know about.
When I was 7 years old, my French teacher would sometimes play her guitar and sing a song with French words to us. I always thought she was just making up words and that the song was just gibberish.
My French teacher would tell me that those are real French words, but I didn't believe her. I also thought that "Madame" was not a real word and was just part of her "made-up language". She would get upset a lot.
I used to believe that "luft" was German for red, because of that song "99 Luftballons" being translated as "99 Red Balloons". I also believed that "rico" was Spanish for rice, so Puerto Rico was "Port of Rice" to me.
When I was 5 or 6, at my bedtime my German babysitter would play the acoustic guitar and sing a song with German lyrics.
I believed that she was just singing made up words since the only languages i knew were English and Spanish. I thought that one lyric "Schloff kindlein schloff"(not sure how to spell it) was "sloff killine sloff" and it just sounded like made up words.
When my mom was putting me to bed, I asked her if she could sing the "Slop killmine slop"(how i pronounced it) song and she was confused and had no idea what i was talking about! She thought i was just babbling nonsense!
I used to believe that Polish was just spitting noises and garbled words. I only saw it written down and it looked really hard to pronounce. My mom is of Polish descent and sometimes i would hear her speak Polish while talking on the phone with someone. I just thought she was speaking French and didn't think about it anymore.
When my mom(who is of german decent) would rush me for something(like getting dressed for school), she would say something like "Hurry up, you're gonna be late for school! Schnell, schnell!!"(which means "quickly". I thought she was saying "smell", so everytime she said that, i would smell my arm. I didn't know what she was really saying until i was 10.