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Play with words

Corporate Spanish Trainer

Play with words
Post 146  / 365

Today, we’ll play with words.

The other day I saw a sign that said: Kountry Kitchen
I wondered how the monolingual Spanish-speakers in the area were doing with that. You can’t find it in the dictionary. They were playing with language.

This next example is one of my favorites! It’s from Frontier Airlines when they were promoting the animals on the tales of their airplanes. I think their copy team was outstanding!
It was their billboard on a busy intersection in my area. It read:

“An Ocelot of destinations.” and had a cute picture of an ocelot.
What does a non-native-speaker do with that one!?
Playing with language.

What happens when these word plays get thrown at us in Spanish?
Can we figure it out? It’s tough! Stay curious and ask, That makes no sense! ¿Qué significa?


This one is not a word play, rather a translation mistake.
In Cuzco, Perú, we stopped for lunch at a little café. The menú was in Spanish and English.

I was reading the Spanish and it all looked normal: un sandwich de jamón y queso.
My friend was reading the English and he said “a jam and cheese sandwich, that’s different!”

Why do you think this mistake was made in the English translation?
jamón = jam (hint: how is the Spanish “j” pronounced?)


In Spanish there are other common word plays. Here are 2 more.

Back to word plays: The man’s name Theodore = In Spanish – Teodoro can sound like Te adoro = I adore you.
You hear people say, ‘Teodoro, te adoro.


When we tell someone in Spanish, “I’ll call you.”“Te llamo.”
It can sound like, “Te amo.” = I love you.
So if you tell your friend, Te llamo. = I’ll call you.
They might respond, Te amo, también. = I love you, too. Then they’ll start to giggle. 😉


Vote – looks like English, but it is also the formal command in Spanish to say, ‘Vote’.
It comes from the verb votar. –
Businesses often think, How can we create ONE add that reaches both Spanish and English speakers?
‘The whole enchilada for next to ‘nada’, works. So does…
‘Live más’ and so does,


Action Step: Have fun with language and play with it!  As we learn Spanish, we learn English. Keep you eyes open, be curious. Read labels, billboards, etc… Start a collection in your notebook.
¡Gracias por acompañarme en The Spanish Trainer!
Hasta mañana