Since moving to Spain, I’ve really been t r y i n g with my Spanish. The truth though? Last week I cried learning the conjugation of verbs. Progress!
I did watch ‘Harry Potter y la camára de secreta’ in Spanish this morning without subtitles, and somehow I understood Tom Riddle and Moaning Myrtle perfectly… what does it all mean? Even RRRRon seems like a different guy these days.
Anyways, language learning can be tough, and that’s fine. It doesn’t take you a few months to learn a whole a$$ language. It’s not even just about knowing the words; it’s the whole way of living too. The kisses here and there, the different senses of humour, the casual calling everyone by cute nicknames – mine are currently: Danielito, Daniela Mozzarella and Filipina Mandarina.
I often find myself remembering the most niche of phrases or words that will absolutely not help me in any aspect of my Spanish life. My Catalonian host mum has been teaching me one every day at dinner. Food for thought – amirite, ladies?
However pointless, they provide me with great stories and trick people into thinking I’m almost fluent until I stutter ordering an orange juice.
Ps: the same day I got seriously accused of stealing in the local grocery store because I didn’t buy anything after 15 minutes of battling with myself about how to ask if they had any super noodles.
She actually searched my bag.
- “Que no te la den con queso” = don’t have it with cheese
This is such a tongue twister, but I absolutely love it. Don’t worry it’s not what you think – I bloody love cheese too. It’s about when bad wine is given at restaurants with good cheese to make it seem expensive when it’s actually 1 euro and gross. The cheese adds umami which essentially makes anything, even bad wine taste delicious.
Though I’m not about to be buying expensive wine however good the cheese is, the saying itself is mostly said out of context and is used when someone is warning you not to get conned.
I actually used it in real life last week and when my friends and I almost got scammed by an airbnb place that had asked us to change apartments because ‘the roof had fallen through’ even though it had definitely not.
2. “Encontrar su media naranja” = to find your half orange
If anyone knows me a little… well, then you’ll realize this might’ve been made for my use. My website is actually called ‘satsuma soulmate,’ and that’s exactly what this little saying means. I think deep down everyone’s looking for their other half of the orange. Though I’m partial to a strawberry, apple and even banana in the meantime.
3. “A buenas horas, mangas verdes!” = about time, green sleeves!
I feel like you could say this to an English person (aka me), and they would think it meant anything at all but what it actually does. It’s for when somethings been a long time coming or even might be too late. The green sleeves dates back to Santa Hermadad, who were a brotherhood who had green sleeves as their ‘uniform’. They always arrived too late to solve crimes – dammnit mangas verdes.
4. “El Mundo es un pañuelo” = the world is a handkerchief
Mundo is the best word in the Spanish language, I swear by it. It forever sounds so dramatic. This phrase simply means that the world is small. There are two ways that I’ve seen this is my life here.
- Sometimes it really feels like six degrees of separation; the idea that you can be linked to someone by only 5 other people – I love it when you have a random yet awkward mutual friend with someone you’ve met in a hostel. How do you know him….? oh well it’s a loooong story, girl. dos tequilas por favor!
- Home isn’t ever so far even if it feels like it sometimes, handkerchiefs are small and a flight isn’t ever too long away.
5. “Estar en su (propia) salsa”= to be in the sauce.
No, no not on (although that too probably). In the sauce means to be in your element, happy, living life in a delicious pasta or salsa sauce. I feel like that’s what we should all be aiming for. It may sound kinda silly but if we’re not lost in the sauce then are we totally dry? If so… no gracias.
‘How To Be In The Sauce’- a TED Talk by Awesome Sauce Dani ™