Posted by: janecronin | July 3, 2011

Spanish/English translation – What a cliché!

“Cliché” doesn’t look like an English word to me in the first place, but the Spanish equivalent is completely different.  Cliché in Spanish is “tópico” which is a little misleading for us English speakers.  So what exactly is a “tópico” ?  Well for the Spanish, things like flamenco dancing and bull-fighting are their main “tópicos” – things that don’t necessarily correspond to the interests or ideas of many ordinary Spaniards. 

For your average “Brit-in-Spain”, we have to live down the “socks and sandals” stereotype, along with “tópicos” of  “tea at four o’clock”, “London fog” and obssessive punctuality, all of which spring to the mind of the Spanish as soon as the word “inglés” is mentioned.

So, how do we say “topic” in Spanish?  The word is “tema” a word related to our English word “theme”.


  1. ..and the Spanish thinking we are obsessively polite, “Los porfas”
    (As in por favores)

    Not every Brit wears a bowler hat, carries an umbrella and is passionate about cricket.

    As I wrote elsewhere today, ” There are only two things wrong with Spain. Too many cowboys and not enough Indians”

    Cowboy – as in cowboy builder and Indian as in quality Indian restaurants!

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