My husband and I have learned how to laugh at ourselves a whole lot more than we used to. We had been in our first home for maybe a month when we really realized how important pronunciation was to our communication.
We had a great lady who was taking care of our girls while we were in language study and she would also fix our lunch. On this particular day, we had forgotten to leave her money to purchase items for our meal (it had never happened before nor did it ever happen again…um, yeah right!) This dear lady was very smart and creative so she raided our pantry and we came home to an absolutely wonderful tuna dish. She usually ate lunch with us and it was a perfect time to practice language.
We really could not get over how delicious the meal tasted, especially my husband. With confidence he told her how delicious the fish was but the look on her face was sheer horror. My husband looked at me, I looked at him, we look back at her, all the while we’re trying to figure out what was happening. Then she finally grabs her hair. We had told her the hair was very delicious.
She may have thought her hair had fallen in while cooking and was embarrassed; or, maybe she thought we actually thought her hair was delicious. Either way…laughter ensued. She thought we had just sampled her shiny black locks. You know mAi and mUi sound totally different, at least to her, anyway!
Even now I am careful to think before I use either word. The laughter that was enjoyed in the end by all is still a reminder today we need to pronounce our words very carefully!!