Translation Tuesday!

Ever have a lost in translation moment?

When you thought you were saying one thing, but in reality something completely different was coming out of your mouth? Something unexpected and pretty inappropriate?

…Yeah, me either. Definitely not.

Except…oh, wait. There was that one time. Silly me.

I was but a young girl, 17 years old and spending my junior year of high school abroad in Spain. I lived with a host family who spoke next to no English, and upon arrival my Spanish skills were pretty pathetic. This little mishap, though, happened around the time when I was becoming more comfortable with Spanish. I was able to understand almost everything, and was a bit more adventurous with my speaking. I no longer resorted to the dictionary before each sentence, and was comfortable with a certain amount of linguistic risk-taking. This risk-taking, of course, would ultimately result in my humiliation. It went a little something like this:

(Scene: at dinner, eating sausages)

Host Dad: Estas salchichas son del campo, de mi pueblo.
Host Mom: ¡Sí! Son muy frescas y naturales.
Me: Ah..entonces, ¿no tienen preservativos?

Host Dad, Host Mom, Host Sisters erupt in laughter. I simply look perplexed.

Host Dad: These sausages are from the countryside, from my home town.
Host Mom: Yes! They’re very fresh and natural.
Me: Oh…so they don’t have condoms?

Clearly, what I meant to say was preservatives, not condoms. Apparently the Spanish word for preservatives is conservantes, while preservativo means the same as condón. Lucky me. The good news? I learned some new vocab. I also never accidentally said “condom” in the completely wrong context again.

(Have you had a lost in translation moment? Share it with us and it could be featured on G-Blogodaria!)

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