Oct
12
2008

Language is a minefield

Part of my homework last week was to write example sentences using different verbs I’m supposed to be learning. According to the study materials I’m using, the verb coger means “to catch”. So one of the sentences I wrote was, ┬┐Puedes ayudarme coger mi perro? or in English, “Will you help me catch my dog?”

We’re going over my homework, and I read this sentence aloud. My teacher turns bright red, and starts giggling uncontrollably. It turns out that although coger officially means “to catch”, in Central America it is in fact slang for “to fuck”. So what I actually said was, “Will you help me fuck my dog?”.

Which reminded her of the time she had a student who kept confusing the word for “horse” (caballo) with the word for “gentlemen” (caballero). The student kept insisting that she loved riding “caballeros”, to everyone’s great delight.

1 Comment »

  • Haha!! I once asked some Latin American friends, “Como se dice?” while wiggling my thumb, b/c I wanted to know how to say thumb, specifically. They answered, “Incendador”. Bueno, dije, “Ay, me duele mi incendador!” and they all fell apart laughing. They thought I was miming using a lighter! I love stuff like this.

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