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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Poll Results 166

Here was the question:

What is wrong with this Spanish sign: "Feliz Ano Nuevo"?

I don't know; I don't speak Spanish.
5 (17%)
The spelling is incorrect.
1 (3%)
An accent or Spanish-only letter is wrong.
23 (79%)

Que bueno! Good job, 79% of you. I saw this sign and was reminded of the most embarrassing situation I ever got myself into.

Background: I have studied various languages, including Spanish and Japanese. Sometimes when I am speaking Spanish, for example, a Japanese word will creep in unintended.

So here's the story: I was in Mexico and had just ordered dinner in the restaurant attached to the hotel where I was staying. I ordered in Spanish with no problem. Just after the waiter left with my order, I felt a wave of nausea (perhaps Montezuma's revenge was on the way!). So I called the waiter over, and my intention was to ask him to make it a to-go order. While fighting nausea, I haltingly explained what I wanted, and the waiter had a stunned expression on his face from almost the beginning. He eventually understood me. Later I realized what had happened. I had thought I said, "I, um, would like to, um, take this food back to my, um, room" but I had used the Japanese word for "um." This Japanese word is "ano." Turns out that "ano" means "anus" in Spanish, so I was saying, "I, anus, would like to, anus, take this food back to my, anus, room." In Spanish, "ano" is "anus" and "año" is "year."

This sign, "Feliz Ano Nuevo," then, says, "Happy New Anus"!!


ChildsPlay said...

Very funny.

Anonymous said...

That's hilarious! Reminds me of a Maori greeting that translated to "Eat shit" in Mohawk. Ah, language.