Monday, March 5, 2012

Of Bubblers & Turd-floaters…

The other day I shared with my classes the viral video sweeping the interwebs and forums of Spanish language instructors: “Qué difícil es hablar el español” by the supremely talented Colombian sibling duo of Juan Andrés and Nicolás Ospina, aka Intentalo CaritoIn the clip, the two playfully analyze the regional variations of popular expressions in Spanish…as told by a hapless gringo trying to acquire the language while bouncing from Mexico to Patagonia to Spain to Venezuela etc. etc. The song is loads of fun and quite informative!
For the complete lyrics, click here.

Y aunque estaba confundido con lo que comía en la mesa,
de algo yo estaba seguro,
un ‘strawberry’ es una fresa.

Y que sorpresa cuando en México a mi me dijeron ‘fresa’
por tener ropa de Armani y pedir un buen vino en la mesa.

Con la misma ropa me dijeron ‘cheto’ en Argentina.
-“Cheto es fresa yo pensé”-, y pregunté en el mercado de la esquina:

-“Aquí están buenas las chetas?”-, y la cajera se enojó.
-“Andate a la re(beep) que te remil parió!”

The next class, one of my students brought me an article from USA Today, “Lexicon of regionalisms to live on after final printing,” which discussed some interesting idioms from around the country.  This made me very happy for two reasons:
a)   I’ve got a student connecting with the class material…
b)   I just learned some amusingly colorful language!

-      In Wisconsin, we say bubbler when referring to the water fountain.

-      A devil strip is the piece of grass between the sidewalk and the street in northeast Ohio.

-      And my favorite: toad-strangler, turd-floater and fence-lifter all mean heavy rain in the Gulf States, Texas and Oklahoma respectively.

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