Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Friday, January 25, 2008

Guau! Qué telefonázo!

Why is it that commercials in Spanish are so much cheesier than their English counterparts? Listening to our local AM Mexican station, La Invasora, this morning on the way to work I could do nothing but laugh at the commercials. The voices, the scripting, the absurdly chipper delivery, why is there always so much cheese?

Guau! Qué telefonázo!
Wow! What a telephone!

I guess I would chalk it up to the romantic side to the Spanish language that just really does not exist in English.

In Spanish its perfectly sensible to cradle your infant son and refer to him as "mi rey, mi cielo" which translates into English as "my king, my sky."

My sky?

Yes, my sky.

It is a culture in which naming your son Inri (i.e. in the Christian tradition the four letters written in Latin on the plaque posted above Jesus' head as he hung on the cross) is entirely acceptable.

Its a tradition of romanticism that I adore. I can say things in Spanish that mean so much more than the things I can say in English (and not be sneered at).

Te adoro mi vida, mi cielo, mi corazoncito.
I adore you my life, my sky, my little heart.

You just can't pull it off in English.

Its a lot like Arabic in which you can refer to your loved one as various body parts: heart(2albi), eyes(3eini), liver(Iraqi dialect as far as I've found and can't remember what the word is); or as various celestial bodies: the sun(shamsi) or the moon(2amari). One of the most common- and overly-used- romantic phrases that I found was "eh el 2amar da?" which roughly translates to: "What a moon is this?" and is used to admire a woman's beauty comparing her to the moon.

I was once told I had a very round face. To me it meant that I looked like the michelin man, to her it meant she was telling me I was beautiful.

The most romantically surreal you could go in English would be to say that someone is the apple of your eye.

I think both languages are wonderfully expressive and rich with layered meaning. My Spanish is a thing I treasure, and learning Arabic is my beloved goal.

I just don't understand why the commercials have to be so cheesy... but maybe thats my pragmatic English side.

Mr MM ya habibi, nour 3eini, roh 2albi, bahebak geddan.
Te amo mi cielo, mi vida, mi alma.

Tuya la chonchita.

Just can't say it the same in English.


MM said...

I love you so much you roh Alby ya hayati you are kol 7ahag fi 7ayati .
The Iraqi word you mean is ( Kabady) and they use it here in the Se3eed .
I love you habibiti .

Safiyyah said...

As Salaamu Alaikum Sis:

Me adoro el idioma tambien. Donde aprendiste de hablar espanol (porque tu dice que ere blanca).

Soy blanca tambien y mi esposo es moreno. Hablamos espanol. Que loco, eh?

Te encuentro en el blog de Organica!

Dios te bendiga.

gulnari said...

Hay tantas palabras en espanol que son tan crudas y fuertes que te hacen sentir el significado intensamente. Las siento en la lengua.. en la piel.. y en todos lados. Se pueden saborear como caramelos y se pueden usar como cuchillos para herir. Es sorprendente; el ingles nunca me hace sentir asi.

Molly said...

pq el ingles no es tan fuerte ni tiene pasion como el espanol. Tampoco es la cultura tan llena de fuego, amor, y hielo, como la cultura hispana. Son muchas cosas mezcladas. Y estoy perdiendo mi espanol poco a poco a poco....

tristeza ay tristeza

Forsoothsayer said...

yeah, both languages (and maybe cultures) do not contain cheesiness as a concept. i lament this often.