English for Newbies – Helpful Hint #96

Date vs Apptmt

When you are putting up a sign for readers in English, make sure the English is good enough that there will not be any understanding.

In Merida, there are many people who speak good. And by that I mean exactly that. They can get their point across perfectly well but if they want and are to project professionalism they must not be able to speak English good, they must be able to speak English well.

So, if you are translating your real estate advert for consumption by those who speak English, make sure your terminology is right. In the amusing case before us today, we notice that everything seems to be fine until we come to the word ‘date’.

The English word ‘date’ means fecha, in Spanish. Also, a ‘date’ can technically be seen as an appointment but more along the lines of a romantic get together. If you want to get together with your real estate agent, you make an appointment, not a date.

Unless you are dating your real estate agent of course. Then that opens up a whole new lata of gusanos.

6 thoughts on “English for Newbies – Helpful Hint #96

  1. Hahaha, this reminds me of a conversation you and I and our pal K once had about funny translations of menus. Here is another funny one, this time in the category of movie subtitles: The person on screen was saying in English “That’s a self-fulfilling prophecy” and the subtitle read “That’s a cell phone selling property.” Too funny!

  2. I always wonder how many odd things I say to people in Spanish. Things like pay attention instead of put attention come to mind.

    One time, a Mexican friend looked at our bookcases and proclaimed, “You have too many books!” It took me aback, until I did the mental translation to Spanish and then back again into English. (For your non-Spanish speaking readers- it was demasiado which can mean “a lot” or ” too much”).

    I’ve learned to ask for the menu in Spanish if I want to have a fighting chance of knowing what is being served.

    The food looks very yummy by the way.


  3. True, Theresa! My favorite English menu item ever? Axe Corn. Hint: it was a seafood restaurant. Figure that one out and you will guffaw out loud.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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