We all know by now that the Spanish language is always good for a few laughs and therefore, I thought I should take a moment to admit my own Spanish language screw ups. It should be said that my level of Spanish is not so bad after all these years, but there are a few things that still get me in trouble. I just have to find other words to use instead of those that give me problems because I’ve found myself red faced with embarrassment more than once.
Peine vs Pene
A pene is a penis, a peine is a comb. Contrary to popular belief, I do not often find myself in a position where I have to say “penis”. This is a good thing because the word is very similar to the Spanish word for comb and I cannot distinguish between the two pronunciations at all without painfully straining to forcibly pronounce that damn “i” in the middle. But yeah, every time I want to say “comb”, I end up saying “penis” which has been responsible for some terribly awkward conversations in the peluqueria. (See Title of Post)
Cajones vs. Cojones
Cajones are drawers and cojones are testicles. Again, I must have some unconscious phallic twist-up in my guiri brain, because I also get these two words mixed up when speaking them. I know the difference between the two pronunciations and I can pronounce them both just fine, but when I want to say one word, the other one inevitably comes flying out of my mouth. Picture this:
An old Spanish man comes to install the handles on our new book case, which has four drawers or cajones. He asks me which handles do we want installed on the drawers, and I respond by telling him whichever ones match the handles of the other furniture we already have. We choose the right design and then I bid my farewell with this little doozy: “Okay, well, I’ll just leave you to screw in these little handles on your balls. Gracias.”
What about you guys? Any words that you refuse to use because you just can’t get them out correctly?