Lost in Translation
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27-02-2014, 10:33 PM
Lost in Translation
I'm making this thread for anyone who has a funny story because of a translation error. This can be personal or something you've found on the internet.
I'll start with some personal stories:

1. During my freshman year (1st year of high school for those in Europe), I took my first Spanish class. Now, as the typical class clown, I took it upon myself to make sure I spoke "perfect Spanish". By that, I mean I just added an 'o' to the end of every other word.
Well, one day class started as usual with the teacher opening with the phrase "¿Cómo están, clase?" (How are you, class?) and in my typical smartass remark, I said "I wanna go home-o!" Of course, that sounded like I just admitted that I want "to go homo" to the class. Even the teacher couldn't help but laugh at that one. Needless to say, I took Spanish a little more seriously after that... Facepalm

2. I used to go to Mexico a lot with my father on the weekends. We'd go to Tecate and Tijuana mostly (before our news made such a big deal of the cartels, now I don't go anymore or my mother would be the one cutting my head off!). Well, my dad is a bigger guy. He's really strong, but kinda "big-boned". Now, I don't remember exactly what happened, but my dad did something stupid and he wanted to say "I'm embarrassed" in Spanish. Well, he said instead "Yo estoy embarazado" which literally means "I'm pregnant". So all the guys (including me) were busting up laughing at him. He got all red and kept asking what we were laughing at, so one of the women patted his stomach and asked if he was having twins! Laugh out load Laugh out load

3. During my dad's wedding (in Mexico), he and his wife were being served plates of food, but he too busy talking to his guests to notice the plate to his side. The waiter, looking a little under appreciated, said "Cóme, es tú pedazo" which means "Eat, it's your piece". Well, say that really fast in your head. What does that sound like?
("es-tu-ped-azzo" -> "estuped-azzo" -> "you stupid asshole" -> "[eat it] you stupid asshole")
Now just imagine the look on my dad's face! It was priceless! He just looked up, had that priceless look on his face and calmly asked the waiter to repeat himself, which he did to my dad's utter amazement!
(he still heard "eat it you stupid asshole" as he was unfamiliar with the real phrase)
Luckily his bride spoke Spanish and told him what the waiter was really saying when she saw the look on his face... that could've gotten ugly. Though, now it's a family inside joke. You never know if we are saying the phrase or are actually calling you an asshole Unsure

OK, I have some more but I think I'll stop here to keep the post to a minimum. Who else has some good stories?? Laughat

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28-02-2014, 06:08 AM (This post was last modified: 28-02-2014 06:14 AM by Cathym112.)
RE: Lost in Translation
I speak enough spanish to ask for directions, order food, and have simple conversations like "are you working tomorrow?"

I was working as a waitress for a nightclub/restaurant in DC. The air conditioner had completely broken. It was the worst possible heat wave. 95 degrees with 90% humidity it felt like.

Anyway, the kitchen was easily 110 degrees. The kitchen staff only spoke spanish. I walked into the kitchen, and said "dios mio! Es caliente aqui!"

The guys in kitchen stopped what they were doing, and then started laughing. "Eeeehhhh, caliente!!!" And started making kissing noises towards me.

I wasn't sure what I did wrong, so I asked the bartender who was Cuban. He laughed and said The word was calor, not caliente, when talking about weather. "Hace calor aqui." He informed me that I had just told the guys in the kitchen that it was horny.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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28-02-2014, 08:29 AM
RE: Lost in Translation
(28-02-2014 06:08 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  I speak enough spanish to ask for directions, order food, and have simple conversations like "are you working tomorrow?"

I was working as a waitress for a nightclub/restaurant in DC. The air conditioner had completely broken. It was the worst possible heat wave. 95 degrees with 90% humidity it felt like.

Anyway, the kitchen was easily 110 degrees. The kitchen staff only spoke spanish. I walked into the kitchen, and said "dios mio! Es caliente aqui!"

The guys in kitchen stopped what they were doing, and then started laughing. "Eeeehhhh, caliente!!!" And started making kissing noises towards me.

I wasn't sure what I did wrong, so I asked the bartender who was Cuban. He laughed and said The word was calor, not caliente, when talking about weather. "Hace calor aqui." He informed me that I had just told the guys in the kitchen that it was horny.

I have a similar story. My ex wanted to impress me with her Spanish during a date. I told her I had a surprise for her and she said "Ooooh, ¡estoy excitada!" (which means "I'm excited" but in the sexual way, what she meant was "Estoy emocionada"). So yeah, I pretty much did the same thing your kitchen staff was doing Laugh out load

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28-02-2014, 09:30 AM
RE: Lost in Translation
Europen spanish is different from Mexican spanish. Kind of like France french and cajun French.
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28-02-2014, 09:41 AM
RE: Lost in Translation
Oh don't even get me started with Chinese! Say it with the wrong tone and you could be asking for soup instead of sugar. You could have a wild boar instead of a child. It could be fishing outside instead of raining.

What's your job?
Oh, I'm a mouse.
Huh?

Mouse/teacher... Very similar. Oi.

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28-02-2014, 09:41 AM
RE: Lost in Translation
(28-02-2014 09:30 AM)wazzel Wrote:  Europen spanish is different from Mexican spanish. Kind of like France french and cajun French.

There's a lot of different forms/dialects of Spanish. Mexico, Cuba, Spain and even a couple countries in Mexico speak differently. It can get really confusing... and don't even get me started on slang vs proper grammar!

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28-02-2014, 09:42 AM
RE: Lost in Translation
(28-02-2014 09:41 AM)Colourcraze Wrote:  Oh don't even get me started with Chinese! Say it with the wrong tone and you could be asking for soup instead of sugar. You could have a wild boar instead of a child. It could be fishing outside instead of raining.

What's your job?
Oh, I'm a mouse.
Huh?

Mouse/teacher... Very similar. Oi.

I've heard that a lot of Asian languages were like that, but I thought they were exaggerating... is it really true?

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28-02-2014, 09:57 AM
RE: Lost in Translation
(28-02-2014 09:41 AM)Im_Ryan Wrote:  There's a lot of different forms/dialects of Spanish. Mexico, Cuba, Spain and even a couple countries in Mexico speak differently. It can get really confusing... and don't even get me started on slang vs proper grammar!

how many countries are in Mexico, Ryan?

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28-02-2014, 10:17 AM
RE: Lost in Translation
(28-02-2014 09:42 AM)Im_Ryan Wrote:  
(28-02-2014 09:41 AM)Colourcraze Wrote:  Oh don't even get me started with Chinese! Say it with the wrong tone and you could be asking for soup instead of sugar. You could have a wild boar instead of a child. It could be fishing outside instead of raining.

What's your job?
Oh, I'm a mouse.
Huh?

Mouse/teacher... Very similar. Oi.

I've heard that a lot of Asian languages were like that, but I thought they were exaggerating... is it really true?

It's really true. It makes it really tough when you're first starting to learn, but eventually the tones get easier to distinguish. Kind of. Weeping

Atheism is the only way to truly be free from sin.
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28-02-2014, 11:06 AM
RE: Lost in Translation
(28-02-2014 09:57 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  
(28-02-2014 09:41 AM)Im_Ryan Wrote:  There's a lot of different forms/dialects of Spanish. Mexico, Cuba, Spain and even a couple countries in Mexico speak differently. It can get really confusing... and don't even get me started on slang vs proper grammar!

how many countries are in Mexico, Ryan?

Smartass

Ha... haha... meant states Blush

But something like 30 states I think Consider

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