If you’ve never been to Spain, you may not realize that a lot of American movies are shown here, but not with subtitles. No, instead they’re dubbed into the Spanish language, and often the title is changed—sometimes for obvious reasons. You see, The Bucket List title just wouldn’t work in Spain, where they don’t use the idiom “to kick the bucket,” meaning “to die.” Sure, they have their own idioms, but the title was changed to Antes de Morir (Before Dying), which makes sense and gets the point across. Back in the day—that is, the 80s—cartoon characters often had their names “translated.” By translated I mean changed into Spanish names that would perhaps be more palatable for Spanish audiences. I find these names hilarious, and I sometimes even prefer the Spanish names! Here’s a list of some of my favorites:
(Alternate spellings: Triqui, Triky.) Also known as el monstruo de las galletas, Triki is known for saying, “¡Yo querer galletas!” and “¡Yo comer galleta!”, not exactly the most correct form of Spanish, but he gets his point across.
In high school and college, speaking Spanish was a ton of fun! I didn’t have “off days,” I didn’t feel bad about my accent, and I never felt self-conscious! I thought I was pretty darn good at Spanish too. (In truth, I wasn’t half bad.)
That all changed when I first set foot in Spain in 2008. Suddenly, I realized I didn’t understand a lot of things. I got nervous when people gave me directions, nodding stupidly, and hoping they wouldn’t notice when I walked off in a direction opposite to the one in which they had told me to go. Vale became my favorite, end-the-conversation-NOW word. Every so often, a Spaniard would compliment my English, but I knew they were lying. They just had to be!
Slowly, through my years in Spain, I grew more confident in my abilities. I learned so many new words, phrases, and ways of speaking. My Spanish family is sometimes delighted when I say things like, ” … que no veas,” as though what I said was, indeed, la leche. There are good days, days when the words flow, and people don’t have to wait for me to spit out the word vitrocerámica (why can’t we just call it a fogón?). These days are when I feel most competent and fluent, the days I like (sometimes even love!) speaking castellano.
Hello! Long time no blog, eh? While I get around to fighting my writer’s block, let’s have another interview with an American dating a Spaniard!
Let’s see… My name is Katrina and I’m 21 years old currently studying to become a speech-language pathologist in Pennsylvania. I’m not living in Spain currently, but hope to teach English there for a few years after I graduate/before graduate school. It’s sort of ironic, as I chose not to study Spanish in high school due to its popularity (I did German) and am now thinking of teaching in Spain.
How did you meet your significant other?
I was at a party, looked across the room and saw this beautiful creature before me. My eyes instantly locked on his blue eyes and… just kidding, our meeting wasn’t conventional at all. We both were members of a pen pal website, InterPals, and happened to be online at the same time. He sent me a message and we started talking and it eventually became more frequent correspondences. After months of talking we managed to find the time to meet each other and it’s been steady for almost 2 years now!
It always irks me when Americans, after spending three whole months in Spain, say they’re forgetting English. How adorable! You’ve spent a total of 90 days here, and you’re already losing your native-language skills.
Or not. Because you’re not. No, really, you aren’t.
That’s why I won’t be claiming anything of the sort. Nope, what I want to talk about is overanalyzing the way you say things. You must know what I’m talking about. Have you ever read or said a word over and over again until it seemed like it wasn’t even a word at all, just a jumble of arbitrary letters and sounds? Let’s try an experiment:
Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel. I don’t know about you, but that word is weird. I even had to refer to Google to make sure I wasn’t spelling it wrong. And I was a sixth-grade spelling-bee champion! Squirrel. Ugh, is that even right? Okay, yes. Yes, it is.