Embarazada-ing Moments

Embarazada-ing Moments

When I got my first German text book (aged 12) I was confused. Deutsch Heute? Weren’t we learning German? Not Dutch? And I didn’t know what ‘heute’ was, but it sounded painful. I was no less confused when I received my first Spanish textbook, Exito. Was it really imploring me to leave now?

It took a while to decipher it was actually promising ‘success’ but by then I’d discovered that Spanish is blessed with a wondrous and plentiful supply of equally false friends.

Since I’m feeling brave (bizarro) I shall relate to you another tale about bizarre (extraño) false friends and unnecessarily confusing communication…

Some friends decided now was the time to start a family, and we all agreed how exciting (which, of course, by then I knew to be not éxito, but emocionante) it would be to spread the news (noticias). But instead of making the announcement in a nice (simpático) straightforward (sencillo) way we agreed that it would be fun to use a code word to spread the good news.

I can’t remember now why we felt such an announcement should be couched in obscurity (ocultar; not to be confused with oscuro, which means dark). Perhaps it was something to do with the amount of wine we had consumed – we were at a wedding (boda; not to be confused with bodega, although perhaps this particular boda had much in common with a bodega!).

Instead of a simple “Great news! We’re going to have a baby!” we decided the happy proclamation should be made with the phrase “John has a long moustache!” (“¡Juan tiene un largo bigote!”). A phrase full of joy for the avid false friend aficionado.

Some months (mesas) later (posteriores) we received a phone call (llamada). Greetings were exchanged. Then:
“John has a long moustache.”
Followed by a significant intake of breath… (what you might call a pregnant pause?).

Embarrassingly (¡qué vergüenza!), my partner scrabbled around desperately in his hazy memories of that afternoon (tarde) as he tried tardily (tardio) to recall what that could mean…

Do you have any great examples of falsos amigos? Share them with us!

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