Conversations at Casa López – Part 5

Here we go – my family’s most recent “bilingual moments” and funny conversations. (Be sure to share your recent funny conversations in comments!)

Carlos: [singing] Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, happy all the day…
Tracy: That’s not how it goes.

Carlos: He stirred the soup, right?
Older son: What?
Tracy: He means stirred the pot.

Tracy: Hey, I just thought of something. How do you say wrinkle in Spanish?
Carlos: Arruga.
Tracy: That’s what I thought. Do you think they called caterpillars the same name because they’re wrinkly?
Carlos: What?

[Me mixing up arruga and oruga and thinking they were the same word.]

Younger son: I’m going to take Spanish class next year.
Tracy: Por eso tenemos que hablar más español, para que estes listo.
Younger son: Vaya pues.

[This was just funny because he answered in such a Salvadoran way, which is obviously not what they’ll teach him in class. In class he’ll probably learn a more standard response like “Está bien.”]

Carlos: What’s the weather for tomorrow?
Older son: I’m not sure.
Carlos: Where’s your phone? Ask Sirius.
Tracy: You mean Siri.
Carlos: [trying to save face] Sirius is the male version.


  1. Casa Valencia
    (We’ve been married for 1 month. He’s 52 and Salvadoran, while I’m 45 and American and bilingual sixth grade teacher.)

    Carlos: Gringa, cual deorderante usas?
    Brenda: (translating the name of my deodorant) Es Secreto?
    Carlos: Entiendeme en lo que te pregunto. Como se llama tu deoderante?
    Brenda: (beginning to giggle)Te entiendo bien, mi amor. Es Secreto.
    Carlos: (slightly raising his voice thinking I’m not paying attention) Otra vez, no me entiendes.
    Brenda: (interrupting with a super carcajada) No, mi amor, te oi bien. (carcajada) Secreto es el nombre en ingles. (carcajada de risa fuerte) Es para mujeres y se llama Secreto.
    Carlos: (becoming upset) Estas burlando de mi? Ya sabes, Gringa, que no se ingles.
    Brenda: (trying to calm down from laughing so hard) Aye, mi amor, yo no estoy burlandote. Creeme Carlos. (going to the cabinet to show him the deodorant)
    Carlos: Gringa, no me digas que es otra cosa de tus chingaderas del 99. (laughing)

  2. Hahaha! I love these bilingual moments! That arruga/oruga mix-up is totally understandable. I need to start writing down our funny bilingual exchanges. But, here’s one from Nick’s English class earlier this week that reminded me of your bilingual mix-ups when he shared it with me.

    Maestra: ¿Como se dice “jitomate” en ingles?
    Alumno #1: Tomato.
    Maestra: Muy bien. ¿Quien sabe como se dice “papa” en ingles?
    Nick: Potato
    Maestra: Excelente. Ahora ¿quien me dice como se dice “camote” en ingles?
    Alumno #2: Camotato!

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