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Translation Problem #003 – Don’t say “Penis”

The waiter walks over to take our order. Don’t say ‘polla,’ don’t say ‘polla,’ don’t say ‘polla’! I tell myself for the thousandth time.

“Me gustaría…” I say, using the verb and tense I learned to order food with in high school Spanish.

Don’t say polla, don’t say polla…

“…polla asada,” I say. Dammit!

Pollo means chicken, and I had wanted chicken.

Polla means penis, and that is what I just ordered.

“Pollo,” I correct myself. “Quiero pollo.”

The 20-something waiter laughs and shoots me a flirty smile. “Are you sure?” he asks me in Spanish. “Which one do you want?” He laughs.

For most Spanish words,  changing the last “O” to an “A” will change the gender of the word, for example “primo” means “male cousin,” and “prima” means “female cousin.”

But changing the last “o” in chicken makes it mean penis. And the thing is, this never stops being funny.

There are so many situations where this can go badly, situations like-

  • Talking about what flavor ramen you like.

“Sabor polla es lo mejor!”

  • Asking the guy you’re dating about his grocery run

“Has comprado polla?”

  • Saying what you want to have for dinner

“Quiero comer polla esta noche.”

Once the “polla” is out of your mouth, there’s nothing you can do but wait for the consequences to hit you right in the face. And they always come.

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One Response to Translation Problem #003 – Don’t say “Penis”

  1. pollastre September 26, 2014 at 8:33 PM #

    En realidad cambiamos las reglas gramaticales de genero con las palabras pollo/polla tan solo para poner en evidencia a las chicas extranjeras XD

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