A few weeks ago an Argentine friend of mine shared the YouTube video below with me. The title is “Qué difícil es hablar el español,” or, “How difficult it is to speak Spanish.” The video features an ingenious song performed by Inténtalo Carito, about the a Spanish speaker traveling the Spanish speaking world, and his confusion caused by the different ways words are employed in different parts of the world.

The song is pretty damned hilarious, even if you’re not familiar with all the words they use. The music is great too. According to their site, the success of “Qué difícil es hablar el español” – the YouTube video has reached nearly 3 million views since February, 22, 2012 – took them completely by surprise. From the looks of it, they’ll be doing more in the future.

Anyway, you’ll find the video below… I don’t want to suck all the fun out of it, it’s a great opportunity to study the different ways the same word might be used in Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, etc. Oh, and here’s a link to the lyrics. I recommend reading them as you listen.

I had no idea that chucho/chucha could mean so many things. My favorite part is where they use it in place of every noun in the verse:

El chucho de Chucho es un chucho ladrando,
y por chucho a Chucho lo echaron al chucho,
el Chucho era frío y lo agarró un chucho
-“Que chucho”- decía,
-“extraño a mi chucho”.

I also love the part about how the influence of English makes things even harder:

Y con tantos anglicismos todo es más complicado
si traduces textualmente no tienen significado:

-“I will call you back”-,
te diría cualquier gringo,
-“Yo te llamo pa trá”-,
te dicen en Puelto Lico!

Y ‘ojos’ es ‘eyes’, ‘ice’ es ‘hielo’, ‘yellow’ el color de la yema del huevo!
‘Oso’ es ‘bear’, y ‘ver’ es ‘see’,
‘Si’ es una nota que en inglés es ‘B’…

Y aparte ‘B’ es una ‘abeja’ y también es ‘ser’,
y ‘Sir’ Michael le decía a mi profe de inglés.

Y el que cuida tu edificio es un ‘guachiman,’
y con los chicos de tu barrio sales a ‘hanguear’.
Y la glorieta es un ‘romboy’,
y te vistes con ‘overol’.

Porqué tiene que ser tan difícil saber como diablos hablar español!?!?

The song is actually quite long, and makes a great Spanish listening exercise. You can also find second video on their website, Narcolepsia Automovilístca.

 

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