We normally encourage our students to have a go at using Spanish as often as possible. Your efforts will normally be appreciated, however, there are some Spanish phrases that you really should ditch and stick to what you learn in your Spanish lessons instead. Here are just a few:
- ¡Ay, caramba!
Best translated as ‘Oh my gosh!’ or similar, it’s quite outdated. Leave this one for Bart Simpson.
- Hasta la vista
The Spanish equivalent of the French ‘au revoir’, it was popularised by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in Terminator, but it’s just too cheesy for most Spanish speakers nowadays.
- Mi casa es su casa
- Literally meaning ‘My house is your house’, in other words, ‘Make yourself at home,’ but times have changed and this isn’t used seriously any more.
Usually used in the same sense as ‘OK’ or ‘Sure’, this is a word that is used in different senses in different countries, and it can be inappropriate if used incorrectly, so it’s best avoided.
- No Bueno
Most often used by non-Spanish speakers to mean ‘no good’, it’s very bad grammar and most Spanish speakers would feel silly saying it, so if you don’t want them to think you’re silly too, get it right (no es bueno=it’s not good) or leave it out.
- Yo quiero Taco Bell
The slogan of the Taco Bell Chihuahua in a well-known advertising campaign, meaning ‘I want Taco Bell’, this really shouldn’t be attempted while you’re eating out in Spain!
In the sense of ‘Hurrah’ or ‘Come on!’ those old enough will remember it as part of the catchphrase of Looney Tunes cartoon mouse Speedy Gonzales. If you also recall his over-the-top Mexican accent, you’ll understand why this saying is not cool!
- Muy caliente Often erroneously used as ‘hot’ in the sense of ‘attractive’, this actually means well, warm or hot (temperature). You wouldn’t describe an attractive person in English as ‘warm’, now would you?