It’s bound to happen eventually. At one point or another, everyone makes a humiliating mistake while speaking Spanish. But whether you’re aware that you have committed such an error is another question entirely.
The following are some of my favorites that I have heard about, committed myself or overheard in my days here in Argentina. Hopefully all you readers out there can learn from these mistakes and avoid committing these errors yourselves!
If you have overheard or been guilty of this yourself share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Here we go:
Intended word: Pops (Papá)
Intended statement: Hey pops! How’s it going?
What was said: “Che papa! Cómo andas?”
Translation: Hey Potato! How’s it going?
Conclusion: One of those tricky pronunciation attempts that can go bad. I did that to a waiter fairly recently and he couldn’t stop laughing.
Intended word: years (años)
Intended statement: How old are you?
What was said: Cuántos anos tenés?
Translation: How many anuses do you have?
Conclusion: The Ñ should be specifically practiced to avoid this error.
Intended statement: Excuse me, after accidentally brushing a woman’s leg. (Permiso)
What was said: Con tu permiso.
Translation: With your permission.
Conclusion: “Permiso” by itself is the equivalent of excuse me.
Intended word: hot (calor)
Intended statement: I’m hot.
What was said: Estoy caliente.
Translation: I’m horny.
Conclusion: Caliente can be interpreted as slang for horny, but in general means hot.
Intended word: excited (emocionante)
Intended statement: I’m really excited to be here!
What was said: Estoy muy excitante para estar aca!
Translation: I’m really horny to be here!
Conclusion: I’ve heard different opinions on this one, Argentines and foreign students alike. Many Argentines believe this word is more commonly used as slang for horny. Others claim there is nothing wrong with using it as an adjective.
Intended statement: I don’t care (Me chupa un huevo)
What was said: Me chupo un huevo
Translation: I sucked my own ball
Conclusion: Conjugations can be especially important when using reflexive verbs or verbs with pronouns.
Thanks to commentor “Cagador” from the last edition…
Intended phrase: I want to charge my iPod (Quiero cargar mi iPod)
What was said: Quiero cagar mi iPod
Translation: I want to shit my iPod
Conclusion: The question is would you use it?