Try asking newly arrived Pinoys anecdotes during their first days in Spain and they will give you loads. Being lost in translation often gets them into trouble, well, sort of, but in a funny way, I should say. Here are some of them.
“V” is pronounced as “B” in Spanish. So “Valencia” becomes “Balencia when uttered. Steve, a Filipino newbie in Madrid and with a non-existent Spanish works as a stay-in staff for a rich Spanish lady somewhere in Majadajonda. One time, while doing the washing up in the kitchen, he hears his señora calling him.
Señora: Ven. Ven aqui un momento. (Come here for a moment.)
Steve scratches his head but wastes no time and goes upstairs where his señora is.
Señora: Ven aqui por favor. (Come here please.)
But before his señora can say what she wants, Steve feels that he has to say something too. He wants to clarify one important thing.
Steve: Ah Señora.
The señora senses that Steve has something to say.
Señora: Sí, dime. (Say it)
Steve: (With conviction) Señora, my name is Steve not Ben!
The phone is ringing. Steve hears it. Immediately he lifts the receiver and calls out for his señora.
Steve: Señora! Teléfono!
Señora: Voy! (I’m coming)
Steve gets incensed. He has clarified this before, he perfectly remembers. Now she is doing it again. He has to do it one more time. And this time, he has to make it really really clear. The señora comes running towards the phone.
Señora: Voy. Gracias. (I’m coming. Thank you)
Steve waits while the señora talks on the phone. After she puts down the receiver, he steps forward. This time with a very firm voice;
Steve: Señora. My name is Steve! Not Boy.
You man, me woman
Christine, also a newly arrived Pinay in Madrid can’t find her way to Calle Fuencarral. She has been walking for ages and she perfectly knows one thing, she is lost. Her Spanish is neither here nor there but she feels she needs to ask someone. She finds a kind-looking señor. She stops him.
Christine: Señor, la Calle Fuencarral? (Matches with sign language.)
Señor: (Stares at the street where they are standing now, then shakes his head) HOMBRE! Esta muy lejos eh. (Man!/Oh, come on! It’s very far!)
The señor, however finds it hard to explain to the Spanish-challenged Pinay, uses sign language to indicate the direction leading to Calle Fuencarral. Christine, thinking that she must have at least understood what the señor said, thanks him. But before saying goodbye to him, she has to clarify one important thing.
Christine: (With conviction and a straight face) Gracias señor, pero..me..me! (pointing to herself) HOMBRE NO! me…me (again pointing to herself) MUJER!!! (Thanks sir, but I am not a MAN, I am a WOMAN!)
And she bids adieu leaving the old man scratching his head who is just actually waiting for Christine to walk away before releasing a big fat laugh! Nathaniel Sisma Villaluna
Not lost in translation but equally graciosos (funny). A clip from Cuatro’s Callejeros Viajeros: Manila. Watch the ‘realeza from Batangas’ who lives in Forbes Park as she also learns new Spanish words.