Paul Tench wrote, in a posting to a listserv I belong to,
I took my mother to try a new Italian delicatessen round the corner from where we live, but she was not feeling very adventurous and opted for a cup of tea, whereas I went for a latte. The Italian waiter got my order: “A cuppa tea ’n’ a latte please”.
Imagine my mother’s surprise when she received a cappucino! (I got my latte!) A neat case of an Italian speaker interpreting colloquial English with “Italian ears”, and probably thinking “These Brits just can’t get their Italian pronunciation right!”
(Just in case anyone’s not sure, the Italian pronunciation of cappuccino is kapputˈtʃiːno. So the phonetic distance from ˌkʌpəˈtiːnə, in noise, is not great.)
This led another subscriber, Jamie Kirchner, to comment
After a pronunciation lesson on aspiration of voiceless consonants, a
Brazilian student of mine suddenly realized why he always got the wrong beer in noisy nightclubs. He would order Killian’s and get Guinness, not just once, but all the time. Apparently amidst all the din, American waitresses and bartenders thought his unaspirated [k] was [g] and would consistently bring him the wrong thing.
And Billy Clark says that when he told his daughter “do your revision” she took this to be “do Eurovision”.
Conversely to Paul’s experience, I remember the possibly apocryphal Londoner many years ago who, going with his girlfriend to a coffee bar and hearing that there was a trendy new drink called cappuccino, ordered two cups o’ chino, one for him and one for her.