I took a bus home the other day. The newer London buses have computerised displays and audible announcements of the route and upcoming stops (in that slightly odd glued-together way where the intonation doesn’t quite match up):
Number one to Canada Water
It occurred to me—based on my own experience of trying to take public transport in places where my command of the local language was limited—that the sequence one to might be confusing to someone with limited English. They might think it meant bus number 12 (one two). Or they might miss the one and think it was the number two bus.
And then it occurred to me that the exact same pair of homonyms exists in Japanese, too! 2 and to are both ni:
本を2冊買いに行った (hon wo nisatsu kai ni itta) — I went to buy two books
It’s just a coincidence, but I liked it. Do you know of any similar pairs in other unrelated languages?