Saturday, March 12, 2011

Adventures at the copy store

Well, I promised some funny Spanish-speaking fails, and I think this post may deliver on that promise.

So at work, we sometimes need things sent to the printer for binding, etc (like contracts, for example). There are a few places here, and we recently changed vendors because the old ones did a crappy job. The new ones do a great job, but I won't reveal their name so they can't find this post somehow and know it's me. Cause it's a bit embarrassing.

I'll spare you the gory details but I had to go there alone one day and try to swap out one page of a contract we were getting bound for another page. Now, the word for page is in Spanish is "página". The accent is clearly on the first syllable - like PAH hee na. However, my genius interpretation and recollection of the world is "pagina". Which I pronounced pa HEE na. 

Allow me to illustrate further that a "v" in Spanish is pronounced like a soft B or P.  For example the word for veggies is "verduras" can be said "berr doo ras" (gringo accent alert).

Allow me to further illustrate that the word for ladyparts is the same in Spanish as it is in English. (hint: it starts with a v....)

Let's revisit the conversation between me and the shopkeeper above (who at least is a woman).

Me: "Hola, me llamo ____ y soy de _____.  Necesitamos cambiar esta página para esta página acquí. "
(feeling quite proud that I think i've figured out how to explain the situation)
Nice shopkeeper lady (after a brief pause and smile): "spanishspanishspanishspanishspanish...."
--at some point I figure out that I'm going to need help explaining something I get my colleague to join me---
After my colleague had joined me, she straightened everything out and we left the store.
Then I tell her what I said to the shopkeeper, and how I was proud I remembered what to say, when she starts laughing and looks at me.. and says..

"No, it's PA hee na. Not pa HEE na. The accent is on the first syllable. It sounds like you're saying you need to change one vagina for another vagina."

Fail.
Special thanks to the nice shopkeeper lady for not losing her sh*t and laughing at me on the spot.  :)

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