[rain clouds approaching over punta poppy]
When I first arrived, I boasted about my poor Spanish skills, telling friends that “I haven’t even had one lesson!” To which most people would reply that maybe it was time to re-think my approach to español.
That being said, the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach has had some benefits… namely my AMAZING Spangitalish mess ups. Spangitalish because while I have never (yes, still bragging about this) taken a Spanish class I did live in Florence for a year and studied Italian for two years, meaning most of my Spanish is a water down Italian. Case in point? Today at the Farmacia a man, upon hearing my pregunta, told me he spoke Italian and could help me. On the upside, I guess I don’t have an obvious American accent?
So while there have been many Spanglitalish mistakes (arriva instead of llevar, carta instead of mapa, come instead of como) here are the best of the best:
- Anno instead of año
While this one might not seem that big of a deal for non-Spanish speakers, let me just tell you the ñ is very important. Basically, instead of saying I am 25 years old, I kept saying I have 25 anuses… Made for a lot of funny looks.
- Mucho gusto instead of mucho gracias
This is not necessarily an Italian mess up, but for some reason my whole first month in Las Terrenas I kept saying mucho gusto (nice to meet you) instead of mucho gracias (thank you). My Argentine neighbor kept this going for a long time, always saying, Soy Alexis.
- Soy excitado.
Again, not an Italian mess up, but this one also got me in a lot of trouble as it literally means, “I am sexually excited.” So whenever someone would mention an upcoming party or event, I would end up saying, I am sexually excited to go. Eeek.
- Calentamiento de mi amiga
Saved the best for last. In my excitement of learning the word for housewarming (Calentamiento de la casa) I ended up telling people that I was going to a sexual heating up of my friend. Leaving out the house bit gave me lots of trouble.
In conclusion, I would recommend actually taking language classes when you move to a new country. And, based on my personal experience, feel that Spanish might be a more sexual language than most, since almost all of my mistakes seemed to have a dirty connotation.
Favorite language mistakes? Share in the comments below.