Just be careful with what you say…
Words that can be easily mingled up – in the Spanish language
Well, we all know that it is not so easy to learn to speak good in Spanish. Even if you have a certain vocabulary, it can always come to situations where one or the other spoken word causes some laughter… In order to prepare you for those situations or help you to avoid them, here is a list of falsos amigos.
- 1. You go to a kebab shop and order your kepab without caballo (horse) rather than without cebolla (onion).
- You want to talk about your pets, but instead of speaking about your conejos (rabbit), you speak of your cojones (the private parts of a man …).
- You cannot find the way to the Malecón (beach promenade), but ask for directions to the maricón (gay person).
- You want to tell your friends at the gym about your agujetas (muscle ache), but instead you talk about your agujeros (holes).
- You ask your host family for a fan and say “Estoy caliente!” (I’m hot! meaning horny), instead of “Tengo calor!” (I am warm).
And what does not work neither, is the direct translation of compound words and colloquial phrases from your own language into Spanish:
- For example, if you translate the German phrase “Ich hab Hummeln im Hintern” (“I am a restless ass”, but literally “I have bees in my ass”) directly into Spanish, you should not be surprised if the other person asks with a fearful face: “And have they stung you ?”
Ich habe Hummeln in Hintern. – I am a restless ass. – Soy un culo inquieto.
- The German saying “Da wird ja der Hund in der Pfanne verrückt” (“Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle”, but literally “There goes the dog crazy in the pan”) cannot be translated with “El perro se vuelve loco en el sartén”.
Da wird ja der Hund in der Pfanne verrückt! – Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. – ¡Es para volverse loco!
The German word “Heizpilz” (patio heater, but literally heating mushroom) is not a champiñon para calentar, but a “estufa de terraza”.
Heizpilz – patio heater – estufa de terraza
- A German “Handschuh” or a Dutch “handschoen” (glove, but literally handshoe) is not zapato para la mano, but a guante.
Handschuh – handschoen – glove – guante
5. A German “Klobrille” or a Dutch “toiletbril” (toilet seat, but literally toilet glasses) can not be translated with gafas del wáter, but with asiento del wáter.
Klobrille – Toiletbril – toilet seat – asiento del wáter