Living Abroad

11 Funny Spanish Expressions

For many of us, language is one of the truly great art forms. The combined elements of having a connected world and a truly global economy have introduced more of us to other languages and cultures than at any time in human history.

One of the side benefits of being a part of TransferGo is the opportunity to interact closely with people from an incredibly wide range of cultures and backgrounds.  In the TransferGo blog we have frequently shared some of your favourite sayings and idioms from other countries. This time we look at one of the languages that truly qualifies as a language of romance, not only in the literal meaning but in the more everyday sense as well; Spanish.

Spanish sayings have a tendency to be quite colourful.  When spoken in Spanish a number of them have a rhyming, lyrical quality that is completely lost in translation.

Here are some of our favourites.

  • “Doesn’t have hair on their tongue” – This is used to describe people that speak rather freely; they typically fall far short of being politically correct and seldom censor themselves.
  • “Wanting to is being able to” – Spanish has a lot of phrases the point to power of positive thinking. This one is equivalent to “where there’s a will there’s a way.”

  • “There’s nothing bad that doesn’t occur in the name of a greater good.” – This is the logical follow-up to the previous quote and another example of the culture’s focus on the human spirit and positive aspects of life.  This is the same as the English “every cloud has a silver lining.”  However when used in English it can also be a commentary on how bad ideas and actions are passed off as being necessary in order to achieve the “greater good.”
  • “Throw the house out the window.” – Whenever we want to impress a guest and make a good impression we “roll out the red carpet.” The Spanish equivalent is more colourful and in some cases a lot more accurate.

  • “We see faces but we don’t know hearts.” – Every culture has a phrase the deals with how appearances can be deceiving and the warning that it’s best if you “don’t judge a book by its cover.”

  • “Send someone through a tube.” – Of course sometimes our first impressions are indeed correct, in which case we tell someone to “shove it” or send them through a tube.
  • “It went from Guatemala to Guata-worse.” – The Spanish language is rife with puns which are, in part, due to many words having double meanings.  “Mala” means bad in Spanish, so this is the same as “going from bad to worse.”

 

Every culture has a large number of sayings which extoll the virtues of hard work, probably because most of us have no choice but to work.  Here are a few of the best Spanish versions.

  • “Insert desire.” – This is the Spanish version of “try your best.”

  • “Slowly that I’m in a rush.” – The concept of “haste makes waste” and that attention to detail actually makes works easier and faster is fairly universal; the Spanish version is a bit more colourful.

  • “Put your batteries on.” – This is the very apt Spanish version of urging someone to work hard or to put forth their best effort.

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Author: TransferGO

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