The best part about visiting a foreign nation is the chance to immerse in different cultures. The most challenging part could be communicating with the locals. If it’s not your lucky day then even Google may fail you. Well, recently a tourist in Lisbon landed in a soup after he accidentally caused a bomb alert after mispronouncing the Portuguese word “pomegranate” with “grenade”. Here’s what happened.
Tourist Causes Bomb Threat; Mistakenly Says “Grenade” Instead Of “Pomegranate”
According to a report by The Telegraph, a 36-year-old native Russian from Azerbaijan visited a Lisbon restaurant for a meal. He tried to order a pomegranate juice using a language app. While placing his order, he mispronounced the Portuguese words “pomegranate” and “grenade”. And you can imagine the chaos and fear it created in the minds of the locals.
The Russian tourist had actually written a note while trying to order his drink. Alas, the language app gave him the wrong translation. On hearing the Portuguese word for “grenade” and on reading the note, the waiter mistakenly thought the tourist was threatening him with being in possession of a grenade.
A video uploaded on the website of the Portuguese news agency shows the clueless tourist, handcuffed and arrested outside the Lisbon restaurant, shortly after he mistakenly mistranslated his order. He can also be seen ordered to lie face down on the ground. Five officers approached him and handcuffed him later. Reportedly, the unnamed tourist was taken to the nearest police station for interrogation. After thoroughly checking him and surveying his hotel room, they realised he wasn’t in possession of any weapons.
Also, Lisbon police inspected the restaurant and searched their databases. They were in close contact with Portugal’s anti-terrorist units. Currently, Portugal police are on high alert after the government raised the terror threat to “significant” from “moderate” in October this year.
This shocking incident happened due to the similarity of the words “pomegranate” which means “granat” and “grenade” which means “granata” in Russian. However, in Portuguese, “poma” means pomegranate and “grenada” is the word for “grenade” which may not have been translated in the app.
Earlier Lisbon Police Arrested Traveller For Walking Onto Railway Tracks
In 2021, Lisbon Police arrested a French tourist for straying onto train lines. The 20-year-old tourist was so busy clicking photos and appreciating the scenic views that he negligently walked right onto the railway tracks. Due to this reason, trains faced delays by two hours. Citing a crime against the security of communications, the police arrested the French tourist. And then released him on the lightest of bail terms.
For a foreign tourist, oblivious to the slight intricacies of a foreign language, it can be horrifying to face sudden arrest. While the tourist wanted to order a pomegranate juice, little did he know he said “grenade” instead. To avoid such mishaps, it’s advisable to use a credible language app while travelling. Also, it helps to show pictures of what you want to order in case you face communication difficulties.
Meanwhile, does this incident make you more wary of your next foreign trip?
Cover Image Courtesy: Canva
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