Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lost in Transliteration

A few years ago, I was loitering around the streets in a southern German town when I realized my lighter went kaput on me.  Desperately needing a puff, I spied a hottie guy smoking, and approached him to ask for a light.

"Haben sie ein Licht?," (Do you have a light?) I asked flirtatiously politely.

He gave a puzzled stare.

I repeated, "Haben sie ein Licht?," and did an accompanying pantomime of clicking a lighter.

He smiled then chuckled. "Feur." (Fire.)

Lordy. Out the window went my arriba mode non-existent-to-start-with Deutsche skills.


The transliteration of words and phrases from one language to another oftentimes end up with diverse results. Take, for example, the word "cabbage." Pogi points are awarded if you say "Tu es ma petite chou." (You're my small cabbage.) to a cute French girl, but you're most certainly courting a glare from a elder German if you say "Du bist ein Kraut"  On the other hand, it really won't elicit a response from a Filipino if you say "Repolyo ka."

My favorite transliteration boo-boo, though, happened under the most lascivious innocent circumstances.  I was hosted in Spain by a couple in who just so happened to have a son of the most delectable kind.  As luck would have it, one morning, he and I were left all alone in the house.  I was already having breakfast when he came cout of his room to join me. He went to the kitchen, came out holding his cofee mug, then sat across me.

Wait. Did I forget to mention he was shirtless and in teenie-weenie boxers?

"Buenos dias, Pablo," I cheefully said.

(Of course, I'd be cheered.  Who wouldn't be at the sight?) 

"Buenos dias, Vagabundo Eterno," he replied with a twinkling smile as he sipped his coffee.


Okay, perfect time to strike up a conversation. Conversation is good, right? You'll never know where it might lead to.

"Pedro, por favor, coge me en la iglesia esta mañana."

He almost spat his coffee while he laughed uproariously.

Sure, I may have used the wrong preposition (en - in instead of a - to), but I still couldn't figure out what was funny with what I said.

Oh. Coge me (take me - infinitive form coger).


From Latin colligō.


coger (first-person singular present cojo, first-person singular preterite cogí, past participle cogido)
  1.  to take, to catch, to hold
  2.  to pick, to harvest; to fish
  3.  to seize, to arrest; to overtake
  4.  to imitate, to learn
  5.  to have sex, to fuck

¡Ay, caramba!

Can someone remind me to keep my mouth that doen't only talk, but does a whole lot of talented things, too shut?


  1. its really hard to speak in a different dialect.. specially to those which you are not accustomed too.. :)

  2. After saying "Papito, que grande pinga tienes, Dios mio! Como te gusta mi culo?", you should've just said "Chingame, amor, aqui, ahora, por favor!"

    But to be fucked in church! Escandalo!

  3. you surely know how to make me smile... :D

  4. oh my goodness! haha di kaya freudian slip na yan and that's what you really wanted to say? hehe i don't really understand the language pero based from context clues.. ahihi..

    sabagay, i don't blame you. description palang, ulam na.

  5. Carajo! sigo riendo de esas palabras tachado! hahaha!

  6. Dhon: it's a skill. and like any other skill, the more you use it, the better you get at it ;)

    hey thanks for dropping by - hope you enjoy reading around my blog! :D

    Rude: eres mi papi caliente y deseo tu light saber lolz

    Anteros: ;)

    City: you're smart - contextualizing is part of learning any language :D

    Doc Mike: tseeeeeeh lolz

  7. Chichirya: ahahahahaha

    hey, thanks fo leaving a comment :D do feel free to take a look around here ;)

  8. Yap i did.. natuwa ako..
    Hope you add me up to your blogosphere.. i added you already. :)

  9. ei, so what happened after the languange lesson? did you... ?

  10. Engel: tmi na yun! :P

    Dhon: done ;)

    Ali: aw hanuah, isa ka pa! lolz

  11. Maybe it was fate that made you say that. Hahahaha! Kidding! :))

  12. nyehehehehehe so panibagong post kung ano nangyari sa inyo ni Pablo sa simbahan?

  13. Pau: would you believe if i say it was a slip of the tongue? :P

    thanks for passing by! by all means, eel free to look around my blog :D

    Dhon: no prob ;)

    Yj: teh, nag-statios of the cross kami ng nakaluhod nung dumating kami sa simbahan lolz

    Anteros: chenkyu :)

    di ko alam - i barely keep tabs with them nowadays except with the people i'm closest to who are still there.