Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Viva la Gramática!

I didn’t even know David Hasselhoff sang, but he had two number one hits in Germany. The Tourist bombed in the U.S. but earned $210.7 million overseas. Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares may not have A-list celebrity status (yet) in the U.S., but who knows—it could be huge overseas.

And that, mis amigos, is why I am not going to take any chances when I go to Cabo San Lucas for my friend’s bachelorette party this weekend. To maintain my reputation, I need to make sure my grammar is perfecta! Therefore, I am brushing up on these common errors English speakers make when speaking Spanish:

· In English, we put the adjective before the noun; in Spanish, they put it after.

Tequila grande, por favor?

· Mixing up soy and estoy.

Both mean I am, but I just read that we use soy to refer to a permanent state of being and estoy to an impermanent state of being.

For example,

Soy una mujer.

(I am a woman.)

Estoy una mujer borracha.

(I am a drunk woman.)

· Even if the tequila makes me do embarrassing things like the Macarena, I cannot declare, “Estoy embarazada!”

That’s because embarazada means I’m pregnant, not I’m embarrassed.

I don’t want anyone thinking I’m pregnant.

They may try to take the tequila away.


Jeffrey Beesler said...

Aye Carumba! Mi Espanol es no bueno! I'm thinking I might need to brush up on my Spanish grammar here.

Shannon said...

But what if you are permanently a drunk woman??

Beverly Diehl said...

*clapping* brava! Fun post, hope you have mucho gusto (or however one puts it) in Mexico and travel safely.

Mary Mary said...

Love it! I'm not a Spanish speaker so I can't give you any tips. Just go with it, is what I say! Have fun with the tequila down in Cabo (and try to avoid saying you're pregnant!).

Shelly said...

Tienes un buen tiempo!

Duncan D. Horne said...

I learned basic Spanish at primary school but no more!

Duncan In Kuantan

Rachael said...

I absolutely love this post. I had a French teacher who told us that when she was studying in France, she asked her host parents one morning for toast with "les preservatifs." She thought she was asking for jam, but she actually asked the old lady for toast with condoms. So, you know, French and Spanish are sort of similar, so maybe just have your toast with butter.

Dylan Fitzgerald said...

Huzzah for Romance languages and the grammatically correct practice therein!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I love Spanish, it's a beautiful language and it makes SO much more sense than English. :)

Crystal Pistol said...

Hilarious!! I actually knew a Mormon missionary once who was just learning Spanish. He told our entire congregation he was pregnant. I'll bet he was embarrassed after THAT admission. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

You definitely don't want them to take your tequila away.

Now you know what your Part Dos book can be about - Spanish grammar!

Glynis said...

Have fun! Hold onto that bottle tightly!

Amber said...

I prefer to use "soy" for everything. Makes me seem like a more decisive person.

Have fun on your trip!

my day in a sentence said...

Julian Noble: Margaritas always taste better in Mexico.
Danny Wright: They certainly do.
Julian Noble: Margaritas and cock.

(The Matador)

Something to bare in mind. ;D

WalksLikeAnEgyptian said...

¡Espero que tengas una aventura grande y que regresas con muchas cuentas para nosotros!

(Y que no regresas embarazada.)

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh, foreign grammar. Such danger!

I remember having it carefully explained to me that I must never say 'I am hot' in German to indicate I was a bit overheated. That's not what it means. And who wants to tell a group of strangers they're horny?

Mary Aalgaard said...

Enjoy the trip!

James Garcia Jr said...

OMG! You crack me up! How was Cabo? My wife and I took a cruise a few years ago with several of her family members. It was a great time. Of course, being a Classic Rock guy, I had to see the Cabo Wabo Cantina.

Hasta la vista!


Talli Roland said...

I love that you're practising 'I am a drunk woman'! Be prepared, so they say!

Jaya J said...

Fun lesson ! I serously thought 'embarazada' meant 'embarrased'.

Jo-Ann said...

Very funny blog.
I have a story to share: my sis is a French teacher, and often tells of the time that a student wished to say that her mother grew flowers in the backyard - and instead said that her mother shoved flowers up her backside (pousser les fleurs au derriere).

GameShowRecord said...

Just remember not to buy any "grocerias" at the mercado.

notesfromnadir said...

That's funny because the Spanish word for question is pregunta & I remember that because it sounds like pregnant!

the late phoenix said...

i have spanish in my blood, and i did pass high-school spanish with flying colors mostly because of my secret love of telenovelas and that babe who starred in that DESTINOS language course, so i feel ya siempre

i am a drunk man...siempre

Lorena said...

Dear MP,

I never thought the day would come when I would correct your grammar, but it has arrived!!!

"Estoy una mujer borracha" is incorrect because even though you are temporarily drunk (which justifies the use of "estoy") in this sentence "estoy" is modifying "mujer" and not "borracha." So, you can simply say "estoy borracha," which I hope you didn't have to say during your travels (at least not too often ;))