En español, por favor

I’ve been trying to learn my way around Spanish a bit better since I met N what seems like eons ago (really, it’s only been about 6 years!).  As a half Spanish, half Iranian British guy (yes, he’s a mutt), he’s pretty proud of both of his heritages.  He doesn’t speak Persian beyond a few words and phrases but he definitely makes up for that with his Spanish–he’s a fluent speaker of the language and I’ve gotta say it’s pretty darn impressive.

So I felt like I should try to learn a bit more Spanish not only to impress my husband but also because there are quite a few members of his family who don’t speak English well or at all and I wanted to be able to communicate with them at the very least on a basic level.

Hence N giving me lessons.  I can say loads of things about bunnies (conejitas) and apples (manzanas) and other random stuff.  I can tell the time for the most part, I can count, and I know basic phrases that always come in handy like ¿dónde están mis pantalones? (Where are my pants?) and me gusta la cerveza (I like beer).  I’m sure you’ll agree that when communicating with a Spanish person, those phrases are a must know!

Anyhow, N’s Auntie (who sadly passed away) was one of those family members who didn’t speak English.  But I loved that woman and (I hope) she loved me back.  She was probably one of the most eccentric, hilarious old ladies I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting but communication was limited to a few phrases and a bit of universal sign language.

Auntie was also a worrier–constantly calling whenever anything happened anywhere in the world.  She would call N and tell him not to sleep with his mobile on the bedside table because it would give him cancer.  She’d call whenever she couldn’t get ahold of N’s mum or sister, afraid something had happened.  I felt really horrible when, not able to reach N, she’d then phone me and I wouldn’t be able to express that everything was OK and that N would call her back.

One day, N and I were house sitting for his mum and it had been one of those days where Auntie called constantly.  N begged off to go get a shower but before he did I asked him to write down how to say the following in Spanish:  N is in the shower, he will call you right back.

N wrote down (phonetically, mind you):  N está en la ducha jugando con él y yo soy la reina de las bolas de carne.

He went up to have his shower and I examined the phrase.  I wasn’t entirely stupid, I knew a few words here and there.  For instance?  I knew reina meant queen.  Suspicious.  Even more worrying, I knew carne was meat.  Something was seriously wrong with that phrase.

The actual translation?  N is in the shower playing with himself and I am the queen of the meatballs.


I’ve been using Rosetta Stone/teaching myself ever since.  Never entrust a bilingual husband with teaching you his language… it’s just too much power for him to handle responsibly.


If you’re interested in getting in touch, tweet me at @stephanie_khani or @londondiaries1.  Alternatively you can email me at emailthelondondiaries [at] gmail.com.

16 thoughts on “En español, por favor

  1. Dear Queen of Meatballs- your husband is a sick and twisted man-NEVER LET HIM GO!!! I too wish to learn a few key phrases so that I can help with my new job at American Airlines but apparently “My yamo es pantelones” does not mean “Are you checking any bags?” I will keep at it though and keep you updated on my progress. p.s. do NOT refer to spanish speaking women as “es locos punta”! The situation Will escalate into something that can shut down the entire airport 😦

    1. Oh Nita, he’s beyond twisted, let me tell you. Look up “ridiculous” in the dictionary and there’s no definition, just a picture of his face.

      American Airlines, you say? What are you doing with them? Are you working at Louisville Airport?

      1. How exciting! I’ll have to let you know when we fly in and out so we can say hi! I haven’t flown with AA in a while–they’re a bit out of my price range! 🙂

      2. Please do and just so you know- after I have been there for 2 years ALL my family and friends fly free!!!! I can fly free now so I may have to take a jump over the pond to hang out with you guys cause you and N are the kinda people I would soooo hang out with!!!!

      3. Oh wow, I think I need to work for AA!!!

        Yes, you definitely should fly over, even if it’s for a long weekend! We’re a pretty good time. 🙂

      4. Even if you work for them part time- you and N will have full flight benefits! I am working on getting a friend to Ethiopia to adopt a baby and getting everyone to Austin for Cindy Reids wedding this summer but a quick jaunt to LHR would put the first stamp on my passport! The only problem is LHR has the highest taxes of any other country on airline tickets so it would be like paying for a ticket 😦 We do have to pay taxes but usually it is around $50.00. For LHR, it is like $300.00 (silly Brits) Did I mention you 2 free checked bags per person? It is Heaven I tell ya! I am now hatching a plan cause I want to see (and eat) all of things I have read in your blogs! Stay tuned, sweet niece! Crazy Aunt may escape 🙂

      5. Why yes- I do believe it is! We had the UK cycling team (I’m in love, totally) miss their flights home and we had to rebook them through Gatwick (got to be honest-had Never heard of such a place-thank you Kentucky Education System) but all of England goes through London from our little whole in the wall. I’ll just have to figure out how to bypass the crystal palace (LHR’s affectionate little nickname). I have to ask- can you make the dudes in the tall fuzzy hats laugh? It really is on my bucket list 🙂 I don’t know why this intrigues me so much but challenge accepted:)

      6. Hahah… there isn’t much to Gatwick but I actually prefer it to Heathrow. So much quicker/easier to get through plus it’s easier to get to from where we live as well.

        And the dudes in the fuzzy hats? They’re not supposed to laugh so good luck!!!

  2. Me encanta leer tu blog!! Obviously you did get that!…I found your blog by accident and I’ve been reading it ever since! (like 3 weeks ago lol) I like the way you write about your life. I wish I’d be in London!!! I’m from El Salvador and I love English! Saludos a N! 🙂

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