On vacation in Morocco years ago, I spent a week inexplicably pronouncing the French word for “mint” (menthe) as “mountain” (mont). During that week, in Fez, Marrakech, Casablanca, I ordered lots of ‘mountain tea’ (thé à la mont) before I realized my mistake. I turned red as I remembered all the waiters and café owners who had looked at me strangely as I ordered mountain tea (no such thing!) when what I really wanted was a glass of thé à la menthe. I recall one café proprietress — in the Atlas Mountains of all places — her eyes lined in kohl, shouting at me maniacally (between hearty guffaws) when I asked for some mountain tea:
ME: Thé à la mont, s’il vous plaît.
SHE: (eyes opened wide, shaking head from side to side) Non.
ME: (a bit louder) Thé à la mont, s’il vous plaît.
SHE: (frowning, shaking head from side to side and moving arms up and down) Non!
ME: (emphasizing each word) Thé à la mont, s’il vous plaît…