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YucaLandia


May 7, 2010, 9:20 AM

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False Cognates

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A good gringa friend of ours visited Yucatán as a part of a High School Spanish Class trip. She and her best friend just happened to fall in love with a pair of Mayan brothers from Cordamex, a working-class colonia that housed workers & their families for the nearby rope factories.

This muy bonita chica continued to return and visit her new "friend", even though his Mamá was convinced that this North American hussy was trying to steal her precious boy. The girl ultimately moved to Mérida for several months, daily helping Mamá prepare the family's meals, washing clothes by hand, scrubbing floors, cleaning the patio, etc. After 2 months of hot hard labor, she was invited to the family's Sunday afternoon almuerzo.

Rather than being relegated to kitchen duty, Mamá directed her to come into the center of the family group, where in front of Abuelo y Abuelita and all the Tios y Tias, primos y primas, Mamá got out her tape measure and started to measure her for her own huipil (the beautifully embroidered dresses that Maya women & Mestizas wear here).

The young friend was very humbled and surprised to receive such a public honor - and she blushed and said:
"Yo soy muy embarazada!"

Mamá looked mortified, the Tios scowled, the Tias gasped...

The young Americana's Mayan boyfriend jumped up and excitedly tried to explain to his horrified family that "embarazada" has a very different meaning in English = avergonzado, molesto, or incómodo ... It didn't help that Mamá was previously convinced that the American was trying to trap her son...

Anyway, if you'd like to avoid some of these pitfalls, you can check out our master list of Spanish - English False Cognates at: http://yucalandia.wordpress.com/spanish-false-cognates/ (master = it's a combination of 4 different lists accumulated over 7 years).
steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on May 7, 2010, 10:03 AM)



Zorba

May 7, 2010, 9:33 AM

Post #2 of 4 (5520 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] False Cognates

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Exact same thing happened to a female friend of mine who got into a taxi after having tripped when trying to get in. She kept telling him "Estoy embarazada estoy embarazada!" and he just kept looking at her like she was nuts and who gives a f@#$.

Comes with the territory, pues.


(This post was edited by Zorba on May 7, 2010, 9:34 AM)


richmx2


May 7, 2010, 11:19 AM

Post #3 of 4 (5498 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] False Cognates

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Actually, all your alternatives are wrong... One wants to express humility, not shame.

Anyway, I give great credit to the MP at the Palacio Nacional for NOT laughing (though he couldn't help but grinning) when I used "embarazado" for "turbio" after not checking that the flash on my camera was turned off when I was trying to photograph the Rivera murals right under the sign that says "NO FLASH".


http://mexfiles.net
http://editorialmazatlan.com


Zorba

May 7, 2010, 3:35 PM

Post #4 of 4 (5469 views)

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Re: [richmx2] False Cognates

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"Actually, all your alternatives are wrong... One wants to express humility, not shame."

What are you talking about? She was embarassed when she tripped, so she used the word "embarazada" thinking it meant...embarassed.
 
 
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