Qué difícil es hablar el español

This may not be as funny to the rest of you as it was to me.

Then again, most you haven’t visited family in Mexico, sat down at a crowded dinner party, and made an absolute fool of yourself, like I have.

The problem is that despite being half Mexican, I am not fluent in Spanish. 

I’m close.  People who learned Spanish as a second language probably wouldn’t notice the difference right away, not until I got hung up searching for a word in the middle of conversation.

But a native speaker notices in a heartbeat.

What’s worse, I haven’t used my Spanish regularly in almost ten years, so to be honest, it would take at least a week before my tongue would loosen up and the words would flow again. 

When I get to talking, it’s easy to make mistakes.

“Fabrica” does not mean “fabric”.  It means factory.  If you walk into the local version of “Joanne’s Fabric” and start asking them for a nice, smooth, non-wrinkling factory, you’ll get strange looks.


“Estaba embarasada!” does not mean “I was so embarrassed!”

It means, “I WAS PREGNANT!”

I recommend not confusing the two when you’re trying to hurry up and share the punchline to a funny story.  It can make your aunt’s eyebrows fly up to her hairline.

Another thing I learned is that if you are curious about a word, it is probably best to quietly approach someone and ask the definition.

Do not – and I repeat, DO NOT holler it out across the aisle at a crowded outdoor market.


(Aunt!  What does “nipple” mean?)


Anyways, you may or may not enjoy this Youtube video I found as much as I did. I’ve watched it at least five times today, and laughed each time.

Also, in case you can’t tell – the singers are doing a really good job of mimicking the different accents from each country.  A Texan doesn’t sound like a New Yorker who doesn’t sound like a Canadian, who sounds nothing like someone from Ireland, despite them all speaking the same language…. the same holds true for spanish-speaking Latin American countries.  (Personally, I can’t understand a single world that people from El Salvador say.)

Note:  Yes, they do sound like they are speaking with a grinto accent in the beginning – that’s what it sounds like when someone who speaks Spanish mocks an American accent.  I don’t know why it amuses me so much to hear it, but it does. 


3 thoughts on “Qué difícil es hablar el español

  1. it's funny for people who try to learn a 2nd language. my all-time best mistake was when i got one letter wrong and asked for circumcised bread at the bakery. i'm so careful when i buy bread now.


  2. I'm not a spanish-speaker by any stretch of the imagination- Pig Latin is probably my only shot at multilingualism. But I read fast, so the subtitles….. yeah, that was funny. Thanks for the giggles! 🙂


  3. Just think what the bread might have been like if you *hadn't* asked for circumcised bread!

    I, for one, have no desire to see uncircumcised bread.

    Unless it really just means you want the crust cut off…

    I'm just going to walk away now.


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