Pronunciation error costs Spanish couple over $5,000

Whack me but I found this funny more than anything else: A Spanish couple traveling in Norway wanted to go to Olden to catch a cruise they had left to sort out some health issues. Traveling by taxi, due to a mispronunciation of their destination, the taxi driver took them to Halden instead, which is 560km away. Their fare came to 15,000 Kroners ($2765).

Still oblivious to the mistake, they tipped the driver 1000 Kroners ($184!) and spent the night in a hotel, only to find that there was no cruise ship waiting for them — that’s when they realized that they were in the wrong city. They jumped back into a taxi and and head towards Olden which was 610km away and the taxi ride cost them another 15,300 Kroners ($2,820).

So their pronunciation error cost them over 30,000 Kroners (over $5,300), the approximate cost of 2 round the world tickets.

Funny thing is, Spaniards don’t pronounce “h”; so they would pronounce Halden as “Alden” — which sounds more like Olden than Halden. When they try to pronounce the “h” it’s very strong and sounds like a “khhhhh”, so I’m not quite sure how they ended-up going to Halden. Perhaps the driver saw they were rich and decided to dupe them.