Come again?

Earlier I wrote about some misconceptions that I had happed to me here at work.  Well, lately I’ve been brushing up on my mad Spanish skills with a co-worker and it made me think about all the misconceptions I either heard about or witnessed myself when I lived in Mexico and Guatemala.  Here are a few that I can remember:

1.  The set up – 2 missionaries (one new) talking about visits for the day:

        “Are we going to visit arbolita (little tree) this afternoon?” 

What she should have said: “Are we going to visit abuelita (grandma) this afternoon?”

2.  The set up – Missionary in the MTC saying the closing prayer in class:

          “Bendicinos con castidad…”   (Bless us with chastity)

What he should have said:  “Bendicinos con caridad…”  (Bless us with charity)  Although, I’m sure there were many who were asking the Lord to make sure the missionaries were chaste.

3.  The set up – Non spanish speaker listening to the news in Mexico following 9/11

           Newscaster:  “China va a dar apollo a los Estados Unidos…” (China is going to give support to the United States)

            Non-spanish speaker: “Why is China going to give the US a chicken?” (chicken=pollo)

4.  The set up – New missionary playing the part of the angel Moroni in 1st Nephi at a ward activity

               “….muertalo!  muertalo!” (death him! death him!)

                What he should have said “….matalo! matalo!” (kill him! kill him!)

5.  The set up – Non Spanish speaker giving a talk:

           “Estoy embarrizada y es la culpa del obisbo…” (I am pregnant and it’s the bishop’s fault) I’ve actually heard of this happening many times

      What she wanted to say “Tengo verguenza y es la culpa del obisbo….” (I’m embarrassed and it’s the bishop’s fault…)

6.  The set up – Non Spanish speaker in Mexico at dinner with Mexican family:

           The maid pointing to her glass of Koolaid and asking  “Quiere hielo?”  (Do you want ice?) pronounced very similar to the word yellow.

           Non-spanish speaker in English no less “That’s not yellow.  It’s red.”

7.  The set up: Missionaries trackting.  One is new.

              The new missionary speaking to person at the door  “…..estamos aqui para cocinar la gente…..” (….we’re here to cook the people…)

             What she should have said “……estamos aqui para conocer la gente…..” (…..we’re here to get to know the people…..)

1 thought on “Come again?

  1. Today I was teaching a Spanish 1 class full of 9th graders how to tell time. After working with one girl for several mintues I finally told her to do a problem on her own.
    “Son las dos y mierda.”
    I burst out laughing… couldn’t help myself. She was confused and asked if she pronounced it wrong. I said well, yes… a little. Actually, you cussed and it’s kind of funny.
    Translation??? Rather than say “It’s 2:30” the
    girl said “It’s 2:00 and shit.”

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