While I was in Cuba, I tried my best to speak some Spanish. I never took Spanish in school so there is little I know. I did look in a phrase book my father gave me, but when I randomly opened the book to a section the first phrase was "Can you tell me where to find the needle exchange?" I figured there were just some things I didn't need to know.
The first time I went to a country that spoke Spanish, I tried. I don't know why I didn't remember the lesson I learned there. After an entire day of being very polite to people and saying "thank you" in their native tongue, Ky pointed out I had been saying "Gratzie". Which is Italian.
In Cuba, I tried again. And found that more often than not, I was replying in French and not Spanish. So much so that the staff started speaking to me in French.
One day we were at the market and stopped for drinks. I decided to order an orange pop. I walked to the counter and read the label. Being brave, I said what I thought I read. "Nair - a - ninja". The bartender stared at me for many long seconds, shook his head and handed me the pop can. When I got back to the table, my friends told me how it is actually pronounced. "Nah-ran-yah".
They asked for "Ninja juice" every day after that.