Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Whoops! Translation Errors

When speaking Spanish, it's very important to enunciate because many words have very similar sounding but completely different meaning (and wildly inappropriate) "twins"

1. Mucho and gusto

 You say: "mucho gusto" (nice to meet you)
You meant to say: "me gusta mucho" (I like this a lot)

Whoops: So while eating your delicious dinner, you accidentally told your family (or your meal) "nice to meet you" instead of "I like this a lot"

Embarrassment factor: 1.5 stars

2. Embarazada and verguenza

You say: "¡Estoy embarazada!" (I'm pregnant!)
You meant to say: "¡Tengo verguenza!" (I'm embarrassed!)

Whoops: as you leave the bathroom, your new host mom thinks your red face means you're with child, not that you can't figure out how to flush the toilet.

Embarrassment factor: 4 stars

3. Cansado and casado

You say: "estoy casado" (I'm married)
You meant to say: "estoy cansado" (I'm exhausted)

Whoops: when you exclaim "estoy casado" to your spanish teacher (while making an exasperated and tired face) she assumes you're having marital problems and launches into advice giving mode about the "machismo" perils of Guatemalan (and American) men

Embarrassment factor: 1 star

4. Caer and cago

You say: "me cago" (I just took a shit)
You meant to say "me caigo" (I just fell down)

Whoops: as you arrive home and announce the "big fall" you took on the cobble stone streets in Antigua, your home-stay brother can't stop laughing about the silly gringo that shit on the road

Embarrassment factor: 4 stars

5. Caliente and calor

You say: "estoy caliente" (I'm horny)
You meant to say: "tengo calor" (I'm hot)

Whoops: when you sit down to family dinner, fanning yourself and exclaiming "estoy caliente" after your intense soccer game, your family thinks your red and flustered for another reason...

Embarrassment factor: 5 stars

Lessons learned...

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