Taishakuten (pottergirl26) wrote in linguaphiles,
Taishakuten
pottergirl26
linguaphiles

A Funny Language Moment

So, I'm watching an episode of House from Season Three (the one in which House and Cuddy are flying back from Singapore) with the Portuguese subtitles on because as convenient as it is to have English audio, the notion of being able to read while watching tv, particularly in a foreign language, is very appealing to me. As you should know, I always get a kick out of picking up new words and what with it being Portuguese and all, the fresh vocab is of the utmost utility in my hometown. My mum for one- here's where humour plays a part- never fails to apply her newly expanded lexical repertoire with our neighbours, for example.

Background info: House has just theorised that Peng is a cocaine mule, with the vector being a condom or as the say in Portuguese, "camisinha." I then immediately turn to my mum and ask if she knew "camisinha" meant condom. Turns out she had to learn the hard way. According to the rules of diminutives, the Spanish "ito/ita" translates to "inho/inha" in Portuguese and so if you wipe out the "inha," you get "camisa" which in both languages would mean blouse/dress shirt.

Her story went as thus: One day last month before I had come back from campus, my mum was paying the Antunes a visit and their son Nick had just come out the room wearing a nice shirt. My mum, eager to take a stab at portuñol, goes to Nick, "Hay, que linda camisinha que tienes puesta." Yes, she told him "what a lovely condom" he had on.
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