Words are different here in Mexico, and maybe it’s my synapse-deficient brain, but sometimes I get confused when switching back and forth, especially if I’m translating something right away. The other day, I spent way too much time trying to think of the English word for “lima” (nail file).
I’m not bi-lingual, since I actually took Latin as a foreign language in school (only benefit: I’m pretty good at crossword puzzles). I can follow and understand a movie in Spanish, and, unfortunately I do understand my Mother In Law, way, way too well. I have a pretty good vocabulary and aside from my strange New England pronunciation most people, with a little patience, can understand me quite well.
Since I subscribe to the “living it and learning it school of Spanish” I oftentimes encounter words that are really weird and confuse me. For example, the other day in my yoga class, we were supposed to do small circles with our “munecas”. Now, I knew that “muneca” meant doll, and in all the years I’ve been doing yoga I’ve never brought a doll to class, so I watched surreptitiously as everyone else spun their wrists around.
So I get home, and I ask the Fabster, “You have the same word for doll and wrist? That’s weird.”
“Yeah, almost as weird as having the same word for the lower back of your leg and a baby cow,” he replied.
There’s also words in Spanish, that simply don’t exist in English. For example, Tocayo (or Tocaya if you’re a female) which means “person with the same name as me.” Think about it, the best we English speakers can do in this situation is high five each other and say “Same name guy!!.”
Another great example is “Provecho” which means “Enjoy your food.’ The best we can do with that sentiment is ‘Bon Appétit, which is, in fact, French, and defeats the entire purpose.
Last week, in the Cozumel 4 You Newsletter, I featured this really cute one-eyed terrier up for adoption. (He’s cute, and still up for grabs, if you’re interested) and when the wonderful Rodrigo Rodriguez translated as “tuerto” so, essentially again, there exists in Spanish one word for a whole concept we don’t have.
Further investigation, again, via the Fab-man, reveals that there also exists “cojo” (one-leg guy) and “manco’ (the proverbial one armed man)
These little differences fascinate me. For example, here they play “Crazy 7s” and not “Crazy 8s” Turkeys do not say “gobble, gobble” but rather “gordo,gordo” (fat, fat!)
However, my all time favorite is the noise that roosters make. In English, there’s the “cock-a-doodle-do” of Farmer Brown fame. Here barnyard fowl say “Ki-ki-Ri-Ki”
Try it sometime, it makes for good cocktail party conversations!!
Una ex yanqui de Connecticut quien llama hogar a Cozumel desde hace más de 15 años. Laura escapó al Caribe hace años, desplazándose de una isla a otra dando clases de BUCEO. Se dedicó a perder el tiempo en Jamaica y finalmente se detuvo en Cozumel para pasar unas vacaciones de 2 semanas que aún no terminan. Convenciendo a sus padres que pagaran una elegante universidad privada, obtuvo su título en Periodismo y Laura crea semanalmente Cozumel 4You, medios sociales y artículos promocionales sobre la Isla y también es moderadora en el grupo Cozumel 4 You en Facebook que actualmente cuenta con 25,000 miembros. Fabián, s umuy tolerante marido, desde hace mucho tiempo se resignó a no tener vida privada, pues se ha visto implicado en los diversos proyectos y planes que urde Laura. Son orgullosos padres de diversos perros y gatos rescatados. Mientras contempla su paso a través de la vida en el Caribe mexicano,Laura continúa siendo la pesadilla en la existencia de su muy tradicional suegra mexicana.