Háblame en cristiano - Talk me in Christian

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Háblame en cristiano - Talk me in Crhistian (literal translation).

"Hablar en cristiano" is a phrasal verb that means to talk clearly. When someone is talking to you using complicated words or a technical language that you (and many people) can't understand, you can say to him/her, (Por favor) "Háblame en cristiano".
What would be the English equivalent? Maybe is "to speak in layman's terms"?

Thanks in advance.

8313 views
updated JUL 14, 2009
posted by iker

6 Answers

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In Spain this expression can be used in an offensive way too, referring to those who speak catalan to Spanish-speaking people. Nowadays it is not common but in recent years could be very rude. The inner sense would be "how you dare to use in Spain a language that it is not Castilian". It has a political nuance.

updated JUL 14, 2009
posted by Dunia
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Thank you Mark grin , I asked Mark to contribute as I told him Iker is such a nice guy, in spite of him being a Barca man..... LOL

I think this plain English is a very good choice, especially for Iker's purpose.

In Spain however, we even use the saying "habla en cristiano" for Spanish people, who either talk with a strong accent, slang or any other official language.

updated JUL 13, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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I think that Marc has greatly contributed to one of the meanings of "hablar en cristiano", when it means "to talk in a simple way we all understand", but again, "hablar en cristiano" is more than that: if I don't understand you, I can say this sentence, and that includes using languages I don't speak or even recognize. Very often, when people from Spain hear foreign languages they can't identify, they say "Háblame en cristiano". "Hablar en cristiano", for a Spanish speaker, also means "speak Spanish".

Summing up: "hablar en cristiano" means "to speak in a way I understand", whether people uses difficult terms or totally alien languages.

updated JUL 12, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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Here in the UK, we would use the set phrase "Can you explain to me, in plain English...(the complicated subject)" and we would emphasise the "plain English" by changing the tone of our voice. "Tell me, in plain English" is probably the most professional equivalent to Hablar en cristiano rather than "in layman's terms" since that would make you sound rather thick (just like a layman).

In the 1970's there were less foreign people in London than there are today. We expressed dissatisfaction when encountering a foreign language by simply saying "foreigner" and looking away in disgust. The mind set was "How could someone from abroad come to England without learning to speak English first!". Of course those attitudes have long gone and today London is a diverse multi cultural society.

There are many sarcastic sentences like "That was as clear as mud" to express dissatisfaction when the subject is still not understood.

updated JUL 12, 2009
posted by Mark-Baker
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Well, "hablar en cristiano" is not a phrasal verb, but an idiom. "Speak to me in layman's terms" can be used when you don't understand many of the words used, but "Hablar en cristiano" also means "talk sense" or "speak my language" when the other person is using a language we don't understand.

updated JUL 12, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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Háblame en cristiano - Talk me in Christian (literal translation).

What would be the English equivalent? Maybe is "to speak in layman's terms"'.

Yes, that's exactly what I would say:

"Speak to me in layman's terms."

updated JUL 12, 2009
posted by --Mariana--