The Croatian language has lots of words that are identical except for one letter. For example:
ljudi (people) / ludi (crazy) This one gets me into trouble quite a bit.
pisati (to write) / pišati (to, um, urinate) This one also gets me into trouble every time.
mrtva (dead) / mrkva (carrot)
This last one made for an awkward moment when I was talking to someone about the economy. I thought I was sounding pretty intelligent, saying that the economy around the world was dead but I believed that it would recover soon. But turns out I was saying that the economy was a carrot.
It did give me a great idea for a new invention for expats with language issues: a remote control device that can be carried in a pocket on a key chain. When a major language boo-boo occurs, the expat can press the remote control, triggering a tiny wormhole to open up, transporting said expat back 26 seconds and allowing the expat enough time to use the proper word in the conversation or avoid the word altogether.
Hey, a girl can dream ;-)