Friday, March 28, 2014

Embarazada: Spanish For Pregnant

I suspected that it was related to our word "embarrass," and according to Wikipedia, there is a connection, with embarrass appearing to arrive from the Spanish word for pregnancy.  (Once upon a time, pregnancy, except in the context of marriage, was an embarrassment, at least, so this isn't surprising.)  But the funny part is this:
When Parker Pen entered the Mexican market, its advertisements which claimed that Parker Pens "won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you" was mistranslated to "No te embarazará chorreándose en tu bolsillo" which means "Won't leak in your pocket and impregnate you".


  1. My Uncle Bill had a story of an American ambassador to Peru, who, though a political appointment, actually took the job somewhat seriously, and among other things, tried to learn Spanish, and would actually use it in public. Because of this, he was one of the more popular US Ambassadors in Peru, and so, when it was time for him to leave, there was a pretty big crowd at his departure. As part of his speech, he tried to say, in Spanish, "I'm very embarrased that I never learned to speak Spanish very well". It came out as "Estoy muy embarazada..."; the rest drowned out by laughter.

  2. Over at Sarah Hoyt's blog, there was a discussion of language and someone mentioned making the same mistake in Spanish.