Yer its hilarious to me to think how much a language can vary depnding on where you are from. Being from Australia, I grew up with all the Aussie slang unaware that most of it was slang at all. When I moved to England I had a few troubles with a few words and sayings...
When I first arrived at the place I stayed, they showed me my room and I asked for a "doona" for the bed, which to me seemed like a perfectly normal request. The guy looked at me and said "What the hell is a doona?" "Ohhh you mean a Duvet!". To which I replied "What the hell is a duvet?"
After sorting that out I went to get some food from the kitchen. I was looking for a Capsicum but no one had any idea what I was talking about again until I learned that a pepper is the word to use.
The other thing that took a bit of getting used to was a common English greeting. A simple little "Hey, you right?" Which in Australia would mean a sincere "Are you OK?" or "Do you need help?". So for a while I would respond with "Yer I'm just doing..." until someone told me, "You know, we dont care what you're doing its just like a simple Hi"
When I asked people for chips they would try and organise a plate of hot chips for me when I just wanted what they call "crisps". All that took some getting used to.
The US provided a few mishaps also. When I ordered a burger and chips then got a burger with a bag of "crisps", I realised that I should've ordered a burger and fries. Tomato Sauce also confuses Americans when they would usually hear Ketchup.
Sometimes the same word with the same meaning gets lost in translation. When on the plane to Canada and my mate asked for a beer the woman had no idea what he was saying. "A beer. A BEER. A BREW! AN ALE!!" It took him pointing at the can for her to realise and say "Ohhhh a beeeeeRRR" with the strong "R" that North Americans have.
Speaking of the Irish, I've had a few struggles when trying to serve them in bars in Australia. Especially after a few. One came up and said something like "A ge ah scorna a ah fee bean e oo poi" I took me four goes to get that he wanted a "Schooner of VB and a pie".. "Aye a pie cant ya oonderstund wha im sayin?". Looking back its a wonder I survived in Ireland.
And then the worst of all is when you can't even understand your own fellow countrymen. One guy came up while working at that same bar and asked for a "Pot of gold".. I was new on the Sydney bar scene so I responded with "Dude, what do you really want?".. "No really a Pot of Gold". What I learned was, what we call a Middy in Sydney, they call a Pot in Queensland and Victoria. Gold referring to the beer XXXX Gold.
It sucks sometimes but when you look back on it... Good times!