Originally Posted by Yora
One my mother told me is that Finns tend to mix up he and she for people, apparently because Finnish doesn't have that distinction. She's something like on the pannell for an annual baltic film festical and said she met a number of Finns who made the mistake.
I have several Romance-language-speaking friends who often misuse 'his' and 'her'. The problem being that possessive adjectives do use grammatical gender in their various languages, but agreeing with the gender of the thing or person possessed, not the one doing the possessing.
In French, for example, 'son pčre' could be either 'his father' or 'her father', while 'sa mčre' could be either 'his mother' or 'her mother'. This leads them to say things like 'I saw Sarah yesterday. She was with his brother.'
For a similar reason, I often find myself having to stop and think whenever I use 'cuyo' (whose) in Spanish, to make sure it's agreeing with the correct person!