Monkeys and Chickens
We write a lot here on the Tiki Tiki about our cultural tendency to translate literally and so wind up with a delicious mish-mash of Spanglish.
My English speaking kids sometimes find themselves at odds with their Spanish speaking grandmother. Both sides try to understand the other, but sometimes the results are pretty hilarious.
My son, Adam is a handsome guy. (Okay, I know I’m his mom and all that, but I am being truly objective here. Shut up.) And even though he’s not fluent in Spanish, he can defend himself pretty well for the most part.
So he was visiting my mom (his grandmother) the other day. She speaks as much English as he does Spanish. (Ay Dios mio!)
Adam to me via text: What does ‘mono’ mean?
Me in reply: Monkey.
Adam: Doesn’t ‘pollo’ mean chicken?
Me: Yes. Why do you ask?
Adam: I think she’s insulting me.
Me: She’s not insulting you. Take whatever she’s saying as a complement.
Adam: She called me a monkey and then said I was chicken.
I know there’s been something completely lost in translation, so I call my mom and ask what it was that she said to Adam.
My mom: “Nada. Lo encontre muy mono y le dije que esta hecho un pollo.”
I clarify: “Adam, she thinks you’re handsome and you look great.”
Adam: “Damn Cubans.”
Me: “I’ll just take that as a complement.” =D
(Previously posted in another form on Babalú blog.)