Funny Spanish Stories
Here is an opportunity to share funny or embarrassing stories of making mistakes when speaking in Spanish (or English).
My funny story: Recently I went to Nicaragua and was helping a group do Vacation Bible School and a medical clinic in a village there. While there, I was on my way to go do something when a Nicaraguan lady came up to me and started talking really fast in Spanish. I had no idea what she was saying so in a hurry I tried to tell her I don't speak Spanish very well, but it came out "no hablas español bien". I didn't realize till later that I had told her that she didn't speak Spanish very well, haha. I felt so bad.
I have a funny story, but it's not about me. My grandmother has told me this story many times, and it's hilarious!
Many years ago, my grandmother took her four kids on a trip to Mexico. My grandmother was walking down a street in Mexico with her youngest son (who was about 5 years old) when she passed by a Hispanic man walking his dog. The man stopped and smiled at my grandmother, saying "Me gusta su niño." My grandmother knew a little bit of Spanish, so she knew that he was being polite and said he liked her son. My grandmother wanted to be polite, so she said back: "Me gusta su perro." (I like your dog) However, as soon the Hispanic man heard this, he made a disgusted face and walked away. My grandmother was very confused, and she hoped that she didn't say anything impolite. It wasn't until a few years later when my grandmother housed a foreign exchange student from Mexico that she figured out she said this to the man and his dog: "Me gusta su pedo." (I like your fart.)
This is a true story about a time in Buenos Aires.
Restaurant experiences stay in the memory for a variety of reasons. Very often, it is the company you are with. I was eating with a large group of young people at the Sheraton Hotel in Buenos Aires. For years, Argentina has had a roller coaster economy and for a foreigner visiting and spending in dollars, one year would be very expensive and two years later, it could be extremely cheap. This one particular year, it was my 30th birthday and things were incredibly cheap. I think I paid around $150 for fifteen people to eat at the Sheraton. (Probably 20% or less of what you would pay in the U.S.). The meal was memorable for the sommelier. This was a character with a handlebar moustache, who was exquisitely dressed in a goldbraided uniform and wore a silver cup on a chain around his neck. If I remember well, his name was Arturo. He went from table to table, recommending and tasting the wine for the customers. Arturo obviously enjoyed his job and the attention he received from everyone. A natural actor, very slowly through the course of the evening, we noticed him getting a little bit drunk. My guests, who were all in show business, kept calling him over to the table to test their wines. He was a real entertainer and knew that in our table he had found his best audience of the night. We have never laughed so much in our lives. In the background, we could see that the Restaurant Manager was getting more and more annoyed with his sommelier. By the end of the night, Arturo was staggering around the room, spilling wine on people and breaking not only wine glasses, but also wind! In a formal setting like the Sheraton, it was hilarious. At the end of the evening, he stood in the doorway and drunkenly wished everyone a pleasant evening and then, with a long loud fart, he gracefully slumped in a heap on the floor like a deflated balloon. Our sides ached from laughing as much as his head must have ached the next morning. I am sure that the tips that he received that night, more than made up for his discomfort. I hope that he kept his job and other people in the future will be entertained as much as we were.
The best recurring story I have to tell is of a friend of mine who is American but everyone else believes to be from somewhere in south america.
It turns out that whenever I go to any Spanish speaking store and talk to the people there in Spanish I have no problems, but then everyone else starts speaking Spanish at him as if he understood fluently and he gets frustrated since he can understand some but only if it's simple and people speak slowly.
Now, every single time we go grocery shopping together he gets frustrated in advance as he knows they will address him in Spanish! of course, every time I laugh!!!!
La mejor historia recurrente que tengo para contar es sobre un amigo mío que es americano pero que todos piensan que es de alguna parte de sudamérica.
Siempre que vamos de compras a una tienda latinoamericana y le hablamos a la gente yo no tengo mayores problemas, pero luego todos le hablan a mi amigo en español pensando que entiende en forma fluida, pero él se frustra porque pese a que comprende un poco de español, es sólo cuando son cosas simples y la gente le habla lento.
Ahora, cada vez que vamos a una tienda de compras juntos se frustra por adelantado porque sabe que le hablarán en español! Y yo, por supuesto, siempre me rio!!!
One time I was with a friend driving in Mexico and although I wasn't really lost I was "unsure" so I decided to stop and ask directions. Everyone I tried to talk to was nice of course, but all they said was "no lo se" which means "I don't know". However they of course talked very fast and all our USA-English ears heard was "no se". We spent the rest of our trip home wondering why they thought we were nosy.
I was working at the mental health clinic where I am employed. A Chinese citizen gave me a lovely scarf made of cheap synthetic material. It appeared to be a bribe in order to get me to assist her in obtaining US citizenship,total and permanent disability,social security benefits and forgiveness of $40,0000 in student loans.I discussed this with a Hispanic case manager in a bemused manner. She laughed, gestured and said, "Cheque".With Anglo ears on I heard "chicky" or "chicken".I thought, " How quaint to think I would take a chicken in exchange for services just like a doctor in the old days. The next day we laughed hard as we clarified my misinterpretation. A rubber chicken now hangs in her office in payment for this laughter.
Yo trabajaba en la clínica de salud mental en donde estoy empleado.Un ciudadano chino me había dado una bufanda bonita, pero barata de materal sintética. (o material sintetica barata)Parecía ser un soborno para conseguirme asistirle obtener su ciudadanía EE.UU., el perdón de $40,000 credito personal para estudiantes, así como la incapacidad total y permanente, incluidas seguridad social beneficia.Yo estaba discutiendo esto con un administradora de caso hispana de una moda desconcertada.Ella rió, gesticulado , y dijo "cheque".Con los oídos anglos en oí "chicky" o "chicken".Pensé ,"Que anticuado y singular pensar que tendría un pollo para los servicios de médico como en los viejos tiempos."Al día siguiente nos reímos mucho después de aclarar mi interpretación errónea.
Un pollo de goma ahora cuelga en su oficina en le pago esa risa.
Thank you to everyone who answered. Those were some pretty funny stories. It is always nice to know you are not the only one who makes silly mistakes