08
May
08

It’s Much Prettier in Spanish

As we enter our third month here at the Hispanic Fanatic, it’s clear that we need to get one thing out of the way:

No, I will not teach you how to curse in Spanish.

As we all know, the first thing anyone ever asks to learn in a foreign language is how to insult a total stranger’s parentage in as disgusting a manner as possible. Blasphemy is also hugely popular.

Why is this? Are we looking for some common bond across culture, and the need to offend is prevalent around the world? Or is this just human nature to gravitate toward the basest level of communication? Or is it just more fun to shout, “hijo de puta!” than it is to murmur “como se llama”?

In any case, Spanish is not any more vulgar than English, and the context of the insults are pretty much the same.

If you really want to let someone have it, you have to go with Arabic. Most languages stop at “Fuck you” or perhaps “Fuck your mother.” But an Arab friend once taught me an insult that basically translated to “May you be anally raped by a thousand lunatics and your severed corpse flung into the gutter to be devoured by a hundred rabid hyenas.” Sadly, I have since forgotten how to pronounce this extremely handy phrase. However, with sentiments like that floating around the Middle East, I have a better understanding of why they are so damn tense there.

But again, what taboo are we seeking to transcend when we learn how to say “shit” in a foreign language? Why is it the first thing we ask, instead of “Where’s a restaurant?” or “Can you break a twenty?” or something we might actually use?

Of course, even bringing up this subject is bound to offend some people. To those individuals, I can only offer my earnest apologies and humble expressions of remorse.

And let me just add, in the true spirit of sincerity, that you should go chinga tu madre.

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3 Responses to “It’s Much Prettier in Spanish”


  1. 1 Melissa
    May 12, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    I’ve traveled to Mexico and Peru and before each trip I worked hard to memorize very simple, polite expressions or questions. I’ve always been terrified of learning profanity lest it infiltrate my limited vocabulary. Like a personal mantra I’d repeat ¿Puedo tomar una foto? over and over again. I can’t be trusted with foreign language swear words!

  2. May 27, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    I am not sure what you are trying to say at the end of this post, but it certainly isn’t something I would expect out of you. Very eye-opening indeed. Perhaps instead of telling us to go fuck our mothers you could actually explore this phenomenon as I am sure linguists and sociologists have looked into it. Or at least say you tried.


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