picture of Slap Chop Vince

Getting Lost in Translation? 7

Sometimes, learning a new language can bring out a few F words…like FUN…and FRUSTRATING. I’ll focus on the FUN aspect of it.

We’re watching tv again. It’s been over two years since we had tv. I can’t say we really missed it, but we’re watching it again because A) it’s here, and 2) we’re trying to pick up some Spanish (yet we watch things in English with Spanish subtitles, so we’re kind of being dumb a$$es about it). Anyway, on the channel guide I see this:


I laughed and said, “3 black Men! What kind of show is that”? Then my better half clued me in and said “I think it’s Men in Black 3”. Oh , right, that makes WAY more sense.

And the very next morning, my wife was having her usual green tea and noticed the box read:


Now, I recall soilent green was people, so maybe green tea is a Chinese Person? I think I’ll stick with the café negro.

Here’s a few more funny little things I’ve noticed…


Calorie Absorb? Why isn’t Vince promoting this product like the sham-wow or the slap-chop?



Ropa Vieja. Translation: Old Clothes. Actually, it’s a food dish at the fondas, and it was fantastically awesome, or awesomely fantastic, I never was good with adverbs…I’m just hoping I didn’t get the socks or undies veija somewhere in mine.

Don’t get me wrong – learning Spanish has been fun, especially when you have a childish sense of humor like I do… Oh hey, did you now that the Spanish words ‘year’ and ‘anus’ are spelled the same, except ‘year’ has one of those tildes (~) on it’s n (making it an n-yay). So be careful, because if you write “tengo cincuenta anos”, and forget your tilde (~), well, people will think you have 50 anuses, not that you’re 50 years old. Then again, some people think turning 50 really sucks anos, so maybe it’s fitting?

Hopefully other expats are finding amusement in learning a new language. I’m always making fun or laughing at my mistakes. I’d love to hear some examples from others, whether you’re at home or abroad…or a dude, for that matter.

Later dudes.

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7 thoughts on “Getting Lost in Translation?

  • Mari

    Turn off the subtitles, you need to learn some Spanish. All of those make sense if you know the language and the culture… ” Cuban stew, Ropa Vieja, is made by braising beef until it can be shredded—thus the name (translated as ‘old clothes’).”

  • allison

    My first week here I made ropa vieja in a crockpot (since beef has to cook a VERY LONG time to be tender here), and it is delicous. Easy and so good!

    • Eliza

      Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it wasextremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blogblogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips and hints foi-irstftrme blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

  • John Jones

    My favorite: Look at the back of any petrol tanker. INFLAMMABLE all over it. I feel safer! Technically, it is correct, as the antonym of flammable is not inflammable. But it sure seems wrong!