¿Que? Ten Spanish Phrases

Ten Spanish phrases which don’t translate directly into the English equivalent …

POR SI LAS MOSCAS
Literal translation: For if the flies
English equivalent: Just in case
Example: No parece tan frio, pero tomare un abrigo, por si las moscas
Translation: It doesn’t seem that cold, but I will take a coat, just in case

PONER LAS PILAS
Literal translation: Put batteries in
English equivalent: Get ready / wake up or be alert
Example: Si quieres hacerlo bien en tu examen, poner las pilas
Translation: If you want to do well in your exam, put in your batteries

MONTAR CACHOS / PONER LOS CUERNOS
Literal translation: To put horns on someone
English equivalent: To cheat or be unfaithful
Example: Estoy preocupado de que me ponga los cuernos
Translation: I am worried that he will cheat on me

NO TENER DOS DEDOS DE FRENTE
Literal translation: Not having two fingers of forehead
Used as: They are not smart or are stupid
Example: El fallo su prueba de manejo porque no tiene dos dedos de frente
Translation: He failed his driving test because he’s not smart

SACAR DE QUICIO
Literal translation: Take out of the doorjamb or frame
English equivalent: Exasperates
Example: Me saca de quicio cuando mis hijos me ignoran
Translation: It exasperates me when my children ignore me

SACAR LA PIEDRA
Literal translation: Take the rock out (of someone)
English equivalent: Frustrate / upset or cause anger
Example: Su actitud me sacó la piedra
Translation: Her attitude really angered me

TOMAR EL PELO
Literal translation: Grab or drink the hair
English equivalent: To kid or fool someone, similar to pull someone’s leg
Example: Mi esposo estaba tomando el pelo cuando dijo que olvido que era mi cumpleaños
Translation: My husband was pulling my leg when he said he forgot it was my birthday

ECHAR EL MUERTO
Literal translation: Throw the deceased
English equivalent: To place the blame or put the responsibility on someone else.
Example: Yo no destroce el plato, no me eches ese muerto a mi
Translation: I didn’t smash the plate, don’t blame me

¿QUE ONDA?
Literal translation: What wave?
English equivalent: What’s up?

PONER LAS MANOS EN EL FUEGO
Literal translation: Put your hands in the fire
English equivalent: Be 100% sure of something or have total trust in someone
Example: Pongo las manos en el fuego que él no me traiciono
Translation: I’m 100% sure he didn’t betray me

The Art of Translation

Some wonderful signs in English seen around the world where something vital has been lost in translation …

Norway cocktail lounge: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.

Rome doctor’s surgery: Specialist in women and other diseases.

Bangkok dry cleaners: Drop your trousers here for the best results.

Nairobi restaurant: Customers who find our waitresses rude ought to see the manager.

Nairobi – Mombasa main road: Take notice – when this sign is under water, this road is impassable.

A city restaurant: Open seven days a week and weekends.

In a cemetery: Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.

Tokyo hotel rules and regulations: Guests are requested not to smoke or do other disgusting behaviours in bed.

Swiss restaurant menu: Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.

Japan hotel: You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

Moscow hotel lobby opposite a Russian orthodox monastery: You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and soviet composers, artists and writers are buried daily except Thursday.

Germany Black Forest: It is strictly forbidden on our camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for this purpose.

Zurich hotel: Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.

Thailand donkey ride promotion: Would you like to ride on your own ass?

Copenhagen airline ticket office: We take your bags and send them in all directions.

Rome laundry: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.