¿Qué?

English title: What?

Language is fun. Below you will find an interesting study of words that are found in both English and Spanish. The pictures show the difference between what a Spanish speaker and an English speaker might imagine when they see or hear these words.

In Spanish some of these words have more than one meaning (possibly the same as the English meaning). Contrasts displayed here are for dramatic effect, yet completely true.

There are so many other fun coincidences with cousin Latin based languages like Spanish and English. Here I focused on same spellings. The party really gets started when we have similar pronunciations yet vastly different meanings.

13 thoughts on “¿Qué?

  1. That is too fun. Thanks for sharing. I think that some words must be different in Argentina than they are in Ecuador, because some of them i didn’t recognize :-)

    It is interesting to see the word similarities/differences in Indonesian, too, as it has its roots in so many different languages. The vowel sounds are the same as in Spanish, so that makes pronunciation easier!
    A couple examples: the word “dia” here means “he or she.” (no, they don’t differentiate here – there aren’t even different words for “boy child” or “girl child”. Man, that was hard for me to get used to after coming from latin america where EVERYTHING is masculine or feminine!!!)
    Also, Indonesian word for shoe is “sepatu” and table is “meja.”
    Those are only a couple examples. Lots of similarities here! Enough to get too confused sometimes!

    1. Sarah, I would not have guessed that Indonesian would have such an eclectic influence. That would be weird to get used to absolutely no gender distinction. Hm.

  2. I saw a billboard recently for a barbecue place. It said something like “Que for you”. Of course, that was meant to be said as “Q for you.” But what I saw was the spanish “que,” meaning” what.” It took me a minute to realize what it was!

  3. Ha! This is so well done @ngie, it’s so great how creative you are. How long did it take you to become fluent in Spanish? Are there other languages you would like to learn as well?

    1. Hi Birgit. :-) There are degrees of fluency, as I am sure you are aware. I tell people I was teaching a weekly class without an interpreter after 6 months of language learning. It was rough, hard work with lots of tears and long hours, but it was worth it. After about a year I was able to hold a conversation in which my true feelings were expressed on an issue and not just rote or memorized responses. I would be totally game for learning another language should the situation necessitate it. I am highly motivated to do hard work when there is a purpose for it. Without that purpose drivng me I don’t know that I would take up another language just as a passtime.

  4. Now you need to do a post about spanglish words that get us into trouble… embarazada… does NOT mean embarrased :) and molesta… only means to bother :) great post :) love all the pics!

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