3 Very Embarrassing Mistakes in Speaking Spanish

On vacation in Mexico? Attempting to hold a conversation with a Spanish-speaking in-law? Have you already been living here for years? EVERY language has its "common mistakes foreigners make when trying to speak it". Avoid these 3 VERY embarrassing mistakes while speaking Spanish...

1. Number one on my list would have to be the very common mistake in translating the English word, "preservatives". In Spanish you should NOT say, "preservativos"!!! Unless of course you meant to say, "condoms"... CORRECT TRANSLATION: "conservantes" or "aditivos".

2. What would you guess is the Spanish word for, "embarrassed"? "Embarazado"? Not quite, because this word means, "pregnant male"! CORRECT TRANSLATION: "apenado/a" or "avergonzado/a".

3. "Estoy caliente" said Julie, as she took her jacket off at her fiancé's family reunion in Guadalajara, Mexico. Her to-be in-laws threw her a number of odd stares. What did she do wrong? The room was just hot and so she was. If you don't want to come off as someone trying to elicit a sexual response, say instead... CORRECT TRANSLATION: "tengo calor".
Of course, there are more words like these you need to be careful of/with, and there's bound to be more that I and other tutors haven't noticed yet, but don't let the fear of making embarrassing mistakes in Spanish deter you from learning or speaking it! Spanish can seem hard to native English speakers but so is the reverse true!

May I inspire you?
Spanish is the SECOND most spoken language in the WORLD, second only to Chinese! (English is 3rd).

This Romance language is the official language of Puerto Rico and TWENTY countries around the globe: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It's frequently spoken in other countries as well, though in those, it's not the official language. A great example is the United States of America, where more than 41 million people speak Spanish as a first language!

So keep on learning Spanish!
If the information in this article brought value to you and you're interested in learning more, consider taking a trial online lesson with me - I'd love to help you achieve your Spanish goals!


haha Very funny and good!   Another good one, when you're buying something and are looking to say "how much?" is never to say: "como mucho?" Especially if one is already a bit overweight.  

"Como mucho" means:  I eat a lot.

The correct way to ask "how much" is "cuanto cuesta?", which literally translates to "how much does it cost?" 


Alejandra R.

Friendly Tutor Experienced in Languages!

100+ hours
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