Conversations at Casa López – Part 2

It’s that time again. As I mentioned in the first edition of “Conversations at Casa López” – there is usually at least one funny conversation in our bilingual household each day. You know how when older people get mixed up and say, “Sorry, I’m having a senior moment”? Well, I call these “bilingual moments” and I’ve been writing them down the past few months to share with you. Here we go!

Me: Dame un cucharo por favor.
Carlos: {laughing} What?
Me: The knife, give me the knife.
Carlos: Cuchillo.
Me: I swear I knew that.


[Talking about a friend he’s unhappy with.]

Carlos: He fell off the motorcycle.
Me: What motorcycle? What?
Carlos: Don’t you say that in English?
Me: What are you talking about?
Carlos: In El Salvador, when you don’t like a person anymore, you say se cayó de la moto.


Carlos: Can you put lotion in my back?
Me: In it?
Carlos: Yes.
Me: Are you SURE? You want me to put lotion IN your back?
Carlos: On.


11 year old: Buenos días, mamá. [Kisses my forehead while I’m still in bed]
Me: [smiling] Eres un niño dulce.
11 year old: I’m a candy?


[Giving a spelling test to our 11 year old.]

Carlos: Damness.
11 year old: Whaaat??
Carlos: DAMNESS.
11 year old: Daddy, let me see that, [Pulls book toward himself] … That says DAMPNESS.
Carlos: DAMNESS… You know what I mean!
11 year old: No Daddy, I actually didn’t. I thought you were saying a bad word.


[Carlos yelling at our 11 year old who was rough housing with the dog.]

Carlos: Don’t let the dog bite you like that. One day he’s going to bite your ear off and you’ll look like that artist… What’s his name?
Me: Van Gogh.
Carlos: Yeah, you’ll look like Vengo.


[At a Salvadoran restaurant. The waitress had been speaking Spanish to us the entire time but when she came to check on us during our meal, she accidentally spoke in English and caught herself.]

Waitress: How is every— oh! [pauses, bows head and closes her eyes]
11 year old: [whispering] Did she fall asleep?
Me: No, she’s just trying to switch her brain back to Spanish. The gears get stuck sometimes.


What has been your funniest bilingual moment lately?


  1. I definitely relate to the waitress. My brain sometimes has technical difficulties. The funniest moment Ive had was just recently. I made my grocery list and was in the store i had everything i needed but mayo. I was confused for about 2 minutes, as im walking back and forth the length of the store, trying to figure out why i put May on my grocery list.

  2. The “He fell off the motorcycle” is too funny!

    I was talking about baby clothes with my mum over the phone, and I couldn’t remember the French word for “onesie”.

    Turns out that in French, it’s called “un body”. Never thought much of it when I lived in France but come to think of it, that is such a weird anglicism! I can’t imagine telling Mark “come on honey, let’s pick a new ‘body’ for the day!” :lol:

  3. So my step daughter gave my wife and I a couples massage at a nice spa when we were in San Salvador for Christmas. I needed a haircut, so made an appointment and went back to get my hair cut – what the heck, I don’t usually go anywhere fancy to get my haircut, but it cost less there than a regular place here in the States.

    So the lady is washing my hair, and with the water running and all (my way of blaming the background noise for what followed), asks me “Pepino tu ojos?”. When she asked me I drew a mental blank – “Pepino? I know that word, I know I do….but what?” I tried to conjugate it in my mind, thinking that would jar my memory – Yo pepino, tu pepinas….” Nothing. Finally I give in the the “senior” moment and tell the poor lady (who’s giving me a look like “Hey, it’s a simple question, what’s the problem buddy?) to go ahead and “pepinar” mis ojos. As soon as I smelled the cucumbers I started laughing to myself – I’m sure at that point I just confirmed the ladys opinion “all gringos are nuts!”

  4. lol :-) Good stuff.

    Fun fact: Van Gogh was a Dutch painter. In Dutch, the two G´s in his name are pronounced like the Spanish J (jota). Because English people can’t pronounce that, they make it into something like: /van go/. However, if you speak Spanish, you can pronounce his real name just fine. It sounds very much like: /fan joj/. Then English speakers won’t understand you, but the Dutch will. :p

  5. This isn’t a bilingual moment of my own, but a helpful hint for remembering cuchillo versus cuchara (as in your first story). Just think of the double l’s as two knives! In my family we always think that “cuchara” sounds like an endearment. Picture a movie scene with the handsome lead breathing “Cchara mía” into his lover’s ear…It almost sounds Italian.

  6. Barret, I almost peed my pants reading your comment! I cried, thanks for an amazing experience. I can imagine you at the Spa in San Salvador (since I just came to the States), pobre chera, I will say. Hahaha amazing I can’t stop laughing

Note: You are not required to sign in to leave a comment. Please feel free to leave the email and/or website fields blank for an easier commenting experience.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.