Tuesday, February 05, 2008

When our English limitations become hilarious

can_flaggy Gaby has been teaching with no interruptions for a year and a half now. She teaches cooking on Monday evenings (her "Flavours of Argentina" course is very popular), cake decorating on Wednesday and now she started teaching Spanish lessons on Thursdays. She's quite happy with this, and that makes me happy too. Very.

She normally works on her recipes during the weekend and then sends me the document so I can proofread it. Generally, my contribution is limited to adding a comma, resizing a picture or fixing the occasional syntax error.

But not yesterday. Gaby wrote a recipe for a home-style apple sauce and the last step required to squish -or mash- the already cooked apples. But instead of 'mash the apples' she wrote 'smash the apples'.

I had to call her, and we laughed for a good while at the idea of her students throwing the apples against the wall... or even better, their own heads!

arg_flaggy Gaby ha estado dando clases sin interrupciones por un año y medio ya. Enseña clases de cocinas los lunes a la noche (su curso "Sabores de Argentina" es muy popular), decoración de tortas -o pasteles- los miércoles y ahora ha comenzado a dar clases de español los jueves. Está muy feliz con esto, y eso me hace feliz a mí. Mucho.

Normalmente, Gaby trabaja en sus recetas durante los fines de semana y luego me envía los documentos a mí para que los revise. Mis contribuciones, por lo general, se limitan a agregar una coma, cambiar el tamaño de una imagen, o la corrección de algún que otro error de sintaxis.

Pero no ayer. Gaby escribió una receta para una salsa de manzanas casera, cuyo último paso requería pisar ('squish' o 'mash' en inglés) las manzanas ya cocidas. Pero en lugar de 'mash the apples' ella escribió 'smash the apples', que suena a algo así como 'aplastar violentamente las manzanas'.

La tuve que llamar, y nos reímos por un buen rato con la idea de sus estudiantes revoleando las manzanas cocidas contra la pared... o incluso mejor, sus propias cabezas!


  1. Hahaha! Funny it is. Words can have the same meaning yet, may be less effective depending its usage...ah, I often tell my students before (when I used to teach English part-time) that DICTION has nothing to do with pronunciation, but it is about proper and effective use of words, so that we have the Dictionary. And I have that famous line - We do not assasinate a pig nor slaughter a man! The smash and mash brought me back the old times!

    Have a nice week!

  2. LOL. Shawns parent still have the occasional problem, too. They have been in Canada for years and years.
    When his cousins came for a visit from Hungary, they couldn't get over the idea of maple syrup. They just couldn't fathom putting tree sap on your food :)

  3. I also laugh about it!!! Very good!

  4. Hahaha that was quite funny. I have some limitations too, even when i speak spanish :(.

  5. El nuevo grupo musical: "Smashing Apples" ;)

  6. LMAO...
    La proxima vez mandame a mi la receta que te la traduzco al ingles... seguramente aparecera en MadTV.


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