Posted by: janecronin | June 28, 2011

Spanish/English translation – The event was well assisted


We have already talked about false friends working both ways for English and Spanish speakers.  Some of those reading this blog with remember a lovely young man called Fran who ran a small cinema showing “English films with Spanish sub-titles”.  Fran used to visit our social club Crossroads every week with an update of his news, and he also tried to update his English while he was with us.

One of his enduring errors was the confusion between “to attend” in English and “asistir” in Spanish and so he gave us regular reports on public “assistance” to his films.  He was speaking to the worst possible audience to help him with his English, because (pronounced by Fran for many months be-cows) people found his mistakes endearing and didn’t want to correct them!

I haven’t seen Fran for a while, but I’m certain his English has moved on without us and he now knows that “asistir” is “to attend”, whilst “to assist” is of course “ayudar”.

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Responses

  1. Top guy! Miss him lots!

    I remember trying to explain to him the difference between a discussion and an argument in the English language! #fail, Steve.

    Somehow “discurso” came into the conversation which, is an everyday word in Spanish whereas discourse in English has a quite specific meaning and many people may not use the word in their life. Even more confusion!

    Another pair that cause fun are “desist” and “stop”. I remember correcting a Spaniard who wanted to desist at a red light. I said that we would use “stop” but he continued to use desist all the way to Ontinyent!

    Steve, don’t sweat the small stuff – you should have been grateful that he stopped, desisted, slammed his breaks on or even slowed down at traffic lights! (Anybody who has seen macho Spaniards drive, will understand that “bonus”!)

    Incidentally, this is even MORE confusing as the Spanish for “to stop” is “parar” and NOT desistir!

  2. We remember and loved Fran very well. How we wish the cinema was still in operation at the weekends during the winter even though it leaked from the roof like a sieve and the canvas sides were rotting.

    I also recall how endearing he was at Cross Roads meetings and how he always made us laugh when he said he was looking for a young woman of his own – and actually meant it, although he wasn´t like to find her at these meetings of Crumblies!

    I pray that now 2 years later he has found Miss Right and is still teaching in Pilar de la Horadada and is happy. Sheila & Roy


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