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sergiogomez / Moderator

Jan 23, 2009, 1:15 PM

Post #1 of 40 (9809 views)

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Most useful words and phrases

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Carron started a thread on first words and phrases, so I thought it might be fun to talk about "most useful" phrases. You know--the ones you use all the time, the ones that would make you really happy if only you knew them, and the ones that made you the happiest when you learned them.



mazatlanlee

Jan 23, 2009, 3:21 PM

Post #2 of 40 (9786 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Most useful words and phrases

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Ah, this is an easy one for me to answer. It's

"Aqui vivo"


Simple as that. Not "Vivo aqui" as I had been saying, but the reverse. As soon as I learned this trick (by listening to taxi drivers who would question my honesty whenever I said 'Vivo aqui'... voila... no mas taxis con tarifas gringos.

Of course, as I pay the local rate for my taxi .... Gracias, señor, muy amable.


I LOVE MEXICO, where a good dose of the local jargon and a big smile go a long way! Lee



Lee's Photos: Beyond the Guardrails


sergiogomez / Moderator

Jan 23, 2009, 5:37 PM

Post #3 of 40 (9776 views)

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Re: [mazatlanlee] Most useful words and phrases

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Tarifas gringos, hee hee. I've noticed a similar phenomenon at the local Chinese restaurant. They have great food and "real" Chinese employees who barely speak English. Prices are stated on the menu, but I've noticed that sometimes they charge me less, and...gak...sometimes they charge me more. I wish I knew what I was doing to make them like me, when they charge me less...Tarifas chinos. Obviously, I am not a master of Chinese culture.

But yes, little language tricks do wonders for you. (Too bad Chinese is so complicated.) Aquí vivo is great. For some reason it reminds me of another ultra-Mexican that works wonders whenever you're going to be paying for something: y cuánto va a ser, primo?


morgaine7


Jan 23, 2009, 9:54 PM

Post #4 of 40 (9766 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Most useful words and phrases

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Una clara.
That expression introduced my first real conversation involving anything more metaphysical than construction or food. A neighbor came over one afternoon and asked, ¿Tienes una clara para mí?, which mystified me until she clarified (so to speak) that she needed a beer. As we sat drinking on the patio, she explained that her boyfriend had left her and why, how she felt about it, and so on. For once, I understood everything she was saying, was able to offer sympathetic questions and comments, and finally ventured my prediction that he'd be back. And he was, that same night. I ran into them while taking the trash out and couldn't resist giving her a grin and a wink. It was kind of a girly thing that made me happy I was there for her, but also grateful that she confided in me, of all people. It felt like being truly part of the neighborhood.

Kate


tashby


Jan 23, 2009, 9:59 PM

Post #5 of 40 (9763 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Most useful words and phrases

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I like this thread. 8-)

I've also found it difficult to wrap my head around the "Aqui vivo..." structure. I don't know why.

Anywhoozle....errr...."most useful"???....howsabouts....

"Yes, Officer. I made a mistake. Please give me the ticket so I can pay the fine at the office tomorrow..."

Heh.


Ed and Fran

Jan 24, 2009, 11:48 AM

Post #6 of 40 (9742 views)

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Re: [tashby] Most useful words and phrases

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"Yes, Officer. I made a mistake. Please give me the ticket so I can pay the fine at the office tomorrow..."


Sí, oficial. Fue un error mio. ¿Cuanto me cuesta si podemos arreglar este asunto aquí? ;-)


esperanza

Jan 24, 2009, 2:31 PM

Post #7 of 40 (9729 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Most useful words and phrases

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OK, tashby, I double dog dare you to say that the next time you get stopped.

Ed, you are a very bad man!!

LOL!


http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Ed and Fran

Jan 24, 2009, 4:58 PM

Post #8 of 40 (9720 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Most useful words and phrases

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The devil made me do it.

Ed (weak.....)


robrt8

Jan 24, 2009, 6:47 PM

Post #9 of 40 (9714 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Most useful words and phrases

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Have you seen the Gov. ads concerning such behavior, Ed?
Thanks for the LOL.

My most useful phrases:

La cosa es que...

Puesssss....

Entoncesss...

These are "stall-for-time-phrases" that buy me some time to figure how to fumble through the sex and grammar of what I really want to say next.


Carron

Jan 25, 2009, 9:44 AM

Post #10 of 40 (9691 views)

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Re: [robrt8] Most useful words and phrases

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I often ask as politely as I can "Es posible. . . .(pagar, poner, tener, hacer, tomar, esperar, etc.)?" Plan to use this also in case I ever get stopped by traffic police. "Es posible pagarle aqui, ahorita?" For which very purpose I always keep a 50 peso note stashed somewhere convenient.


jerezano

Jan 25, 2009, 11:55 AM

Post #11 of 40 (9680 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Most useful words and phrases

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Hello Ed and Fran,

>>>Sí, oficial. Fue un error mio. ¿Cuanto me cuesta si podemos arreglar este asunto aquí? ;-)

Unfortunately your translation is not quite correct and changes the meaning of the whole sentence. With this sentence you are politely suggesting that you are open to giving a mordida because you are saying: "Yes officer, the error was mine. How much will it cost if we arrange this matter here [aquí]?

With the translation you have given (Please give me the ticket so I can pay the fine at the office tomorrow..." ) you are telling the officer that you want a ticket and will appear at the office to pay. That is challenging him to give you the ticket right now since you will not pay a mordida. The officer would now have only two options--to give you the ticket or to give you a warning and let you go.

To force this possibility, in the event that the officer had suggested to you a payment on site, you would say something like: Por favor, deme el papelito para que se puede pagarlo en la oficina. If there might be any doubt that he could prove you did something wrong, or if he didn't want to take the time to appear with you, or that a lenient official would let you go with a warning, he would then be forced into one of the two options open to him.

This force phrase is quite useful when you encounter an illegal speed trap such as the one at Benito Juarez as you turn off the Monterrey periférico to go on to Reynosa.

Hasta luego, jerezano


Ed and Fran

Jan 25, 2009, 12:08 PM

Post #12 of 40 (9678 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Most useful words and phrases

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Unfortunately your translation is not quite correct and changes the meaning of the whole sentence. With this sentence you are politely suggesting that you are open to giving a mordida...


Yup, that's right. Missed the ;-) at the end of the sentence, did we? Maybe I need to remember to use the [humor][/humor] tags next time.

Ed


tashby


Jan 25, 2009, 1:12 PM

Post #13 of 40 (9670 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Most useful words and phrases

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No worries. I understood the joke.

It really is a useful thing to know how to say if you do a lot of driving in Mexico...


jerezano

Jan 25, 2009, 1:55 PM

Post #14 of 40 (9663 views)

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Re: [tashby] Most useful words and phrases

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Hello Ed and Fran,

No, I didn't miss the joke. I enjoyed it. But you must remember that many of the people using this forum couldn't catch that joke even with the emoticon. This forum after all is a teaching forum and we need to remember that we students and contributors are of all types. Perhaps some of us thought that your translation was correct.

So all I did was try to prevent that from happening.

Some day Ed and Fran I hope to return to Tuxpan (I really like your beach) and get the chance to meet you.

jerezano


sioux4noff

Jan 25, 2009, 5:12 PM

Post #15 of 40 (9653 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Most useful words and phrases

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C'mon, admit it, you missed the joke!
Otherwise, I would have thought you would have started out, "I realize you were joking, but since this is a teaching forum..."


jerezano

Jan 26, 2009, 7:09 AM

Post #16 of 40 (9632 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Most useful words and phrases

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Hello sioux4noff,

Quote: C'mon, admit it, you missed the joke!

I admit nothing. I take the fifth! But in my own defense I have found on this as well as other forums when I make a joke a lot of people miss it. Perhaps because I don't use emoticons. But I feel that if people can't understand what I write then an emoticon won't help.

I still remember the time a couple of years back when I jokingly said something which indicated that Ajijic was a hick (ryming) town. Since I was writing from a real hick town (Jerez), now known as a magic village, I thought everybody would understand it as a joke. NOT so!

And on a teaching forum we do have to be a bit more careful.

Núffsaid.

jerezano


RosanaHart

Jan 26, 2009, 10:01 AM

Post #17 of 40 (9616 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Most useful words and phrases

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A favorite verb of mine is platicar, which translates to talk or to chat probably... I like how it combines both and is widely used.

There's also good ol' ni modo. Couldn't live here without it! Translation: no matter, what the heck... a resigned to how things are acceptance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Rosana Hart
http://www.mexico-with-heart.com


sergiogomez / Moderator

Jan 29, 2009, 10:01 PM

Post #18 of 40 (9559 views)

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Re: [RosanaHart] Most useful words and phrases

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A couple that come to mind:

Se me hace. Se me hace dudoso...it seems doubtful to me. Se me hace que no lo quieres hacer...it seems like you don't want to do it.

Ahi está. Ahi está que no fueron siempre...so after all that, they ended up not going.

Pinche. A wonderfully versatile curse word (and everyone needs to know how to swear in Spanish. You do it in English, don't you?). Both stronger and more acceptable than d***. A few words can express what you need a whole sentence to say in English. Pinche lluvia...d*** rain, why on earth did it have to rain today of all days?!, I hate the rain. Pinche cacerola que se me cayó arriba de la pata...I dropped the (expletive of choice) dish and it fell on my (expletive of choice) foot.


nancyinpdx

Jan 30, 2009, 2:59 AM

Post #19 of 40 (9554 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Most useful words and phrases

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 Pinche. A wonderfully versatile curse word (and everyone needs to know how to swear in Spanish. You do it in English, don't you?). Both stronger and more acceptable than d***. A few words can express what you need a whole sentence to say in English. Pinche lluvia...d*** rain, why on earth did it have to rain today of all days?!, I hate the rain. Pinche cacerola que se me cayó arriba de la pata...I dropped the (expletive of choice) dish and it fell on my (expletive of choice) foot.


Lol!!! : )


Rolly


Jan 30, 2009, 8:33 AM

Post #20 of 40 (9545 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Most useful words and phrases

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Maybe it depends on where you live, but my bi-lingual Mexican friends here consider pinche to be a potty mouth word, more like the F-word than damn.

Rolly Pirate


Ed and Fran

Jan 30, 2009, 11:21 AM

Post #21 of 40 (9526 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Most useful words and phrases

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I think that the usage of pinche around here is about what Rolly reports for the Lerdo area. Often used in conjuction with gringo.....

Ed


esperanza

Jan 30, 2009, 12:43 PM

Post #22 of 40 (9514 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Most useful words and phrases

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Yes, here in Morelia, too. It's not the sort of word one says in polite company, even though it might be the most appropriate word for what one thinks and/or feels.

And yes, it frequently precedes 'gringo'. That's the reason I never use that word to describe a foreigner. But that's a subject for another thread.


http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









robrt8

Jan 30, 2009, 12:53 PM

Post #23 of 40 (9514 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Most useful words and phrases

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I imagine it's less regional and more what part of society you find yourself in. Albaniles all speak like albaniles, I think.

I would never use pinche in front of someone older than me or women. I do use it with younger guys I'm very familiar with.

Ed, if it's used with gringos in the plural, pinchis would be the "proper" form.


sergiogomez / Moderator

Jan 30, 2009, 1:59 PM

Post #24 of 40 (9508 views)

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Re: [robrt8] Most useful words and phrases

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In Reply To
I imagine it's less regional and more what part of society you find yourself in. Albaniles all speak like albaniles, I think.

I would never use pinche in front of someone older than me or women. I do use it with younger guys I'm very familiar with.

Ed, if it's used with gringos in the plural, pinchis would be the "proper" form.

Exacto!


Oscar2

Jan 30, 2009, 2:19 PM

Post #25 of 40 (9503 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Most useful words and phrases

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Unfortunately, and to my dismay, the dilution of the F-word amongst the mainstream youth is becoming sheik, too often used and repetitive in giving some kind of emphasis/importance to what ever they are referencing.

The entertainment industry, movies, stage and so many comedy acts in the US cling to the F-word for sensationalism and its gotten so heavy on screen, one would think the F-word is being used as an endearment …… Laugh

I watched a movie last night (one of countless others) called RocknRolla, a Guy Ritchie Film (Madonna’s X). It was an English flick and the amount of profanity used throughout the movie, hammers one to the wall like a Gatling gun……Sheeeez! Hey, but I guess that’s entertainment folks ….. Similarly, amongst Mexicans many of the youth in some parts SoB “Pinche” and more, is kind of catchy, which adds emphasis, drama or whatever to what’s going on.

Amongst older folks, or those more reserved on their take on life, they tend to refrain from using such words but let’s keep in mind, we’re not all entirely infallible either, huh...

Similarly, the following reveals the purity of Pinche and the F-word....... Laugh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D7rWLzloOI

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Jan 30, 2009, 2:30 PM)
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