The German word Karte (card) is not as simple as it first sounds. Germans often make the mistake of using the English word card in the wrong situations.

Imagine a German guest in a restaurant. He asks the waiter: “Can I have the card, please?”

The waiter thinks very hard. The guest surely can’t mean a birthday card (Geburtstagskarte) or a playing card (Spielkarte). Maybe he left his credit card (Kreditkarte) behind last time he visited, or he would like the restaurant’s business card (Visitenkarte)?

If you haven’t already worked it out, the German wants to see the menu (Speisekarte), but the poor waiter has no idea.

Other common misunderstandings are due to the German words Fahrkarte and Eintrittskarte, which are both ticket in English, and Landkarte, which is a map.

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