Literally—A Funny Spanish-Learning Game

Have you ever stopped to think about strange some things in our language must sound to foreigners? Words are bad enough, but then you get to idioms and place names, and you think … “Gosh, we’re weird!” Don’t worry, though, it’s the same way in every language. The human race is just odd like that I guess!

Mario and I have a game we like to play on the metro. I’m giving it a name today: Literally. Literally is (literally) a very-overused word that drives me crazy when I hear people misusing it. The online webcomic, The Oatmeal, makes a good point:



But translating things literally is quite fun. Next time you’re on the metro and bored (always?), give it a shot. Some of my favorites (try to guess the metro stop!):

  • Sticks of the Frontier
  • Pink Rivers
  • Toll
  • Retreat
  • Saint Sunday
  • Footbath
  • Quiet
  • Pine Forest of Chamartín
  • Pine Forest of the King
  • Clever Girl
  • Crystal Sea
  • The Craving (The Whim)
  • The Latin Woman
  • Encampment
  • Connection
  • The Angel’s Door
  • The Muses
  • Park of the Avenues
  • Field of the Nations
  • Cross of the Lightning
  • Peacocks
  • Three Olive Trees
  • Court
  • Four Winds

Go ahead, guess. Which stops are they? Do you have any favorites?

6 thoughts on “Literally—A Funny Spanish-Learning Game

  1. Fun! I don’t have accents here at work, but here are the stops I could easily pick out: Rios Rosas, Santo Domingo, Lavapies, La Latina, Puerta del Angel, Parque de la Avenidas, Campo de las Naciones, & Tres Olivos.

  2. I figured out most of the stops and I was surprised at how many stops I was able to remember! I used to live right by Cruz del Rayo, it was my metro stop! And Las Musas was also the metro stop right next to the school I used to work at last year. It was funny seeing them both on this list!

    Oh and there’s a great Peruvian restaurant by Palos de la Frontera, you should go there with Mario one night.

  3. Hi Kaley,
    Thanks for that, Would “meterse en candela” be like “meterse en problemas?”

    Do you use manejar or conducir when talkin’ about driving a car? What word would you use for car? -My Mexican and Colombian friends told me adamantly it’s manejar and they derided me for using conducir, and my sister says spaniards use conducir and thinks that’s what’s better.

    Where all do peeps do Dia de los muertos? – Our sophmore project’s were supposed to be more centered around Mexico, but I had the cooler teacher who didn’t make up the project choices and who isn’t in love with Mexico, and she said that it was a big deal in whatever part of Ecuador she stayed in. The internet says it’s recognized in places that arn’t even hispanic, but then the colombian dude i alluded to earlier said he hadn’t even heard of it until he came to america (he’s from Tunja if that makes any difference)

    Where exactly do peeps use vos? – I know Argentina, but the Colombian dude said he used it, then he said he didn’t, then he said he only used it guys and u never use it with girls, and then he said that it was weird because his age used it, but his parents age didn’t, but his grandfather used it….

    Are there any irregular vos conjugation other than poder? – like he told me it’s still vos puedes en lugar de vos podés

    What would you use for “cool?” – He’d use chevere, but is there any word that’s scope is more than just one country?

    How would you ask about the weather – that teacher i talked about would say que tiempo hace hoy? and the colombian said he’d say something i forgot, but it was something that i’d translate literally as “what’s the climate?”

    How do you say funny – we learn comico, but once again the colombiano said they use something else

    Do you say “y” like “y” or like “j?” Does it matter on the word?

    Where all does the “ll” sound like “shh”

    Is “v” pronounced “b” by everyone, or does anyone give it at least a slight “v” sound?

    Off the top of your head, what word or phrase does a gringo like me have to know?

    … I’m probably forgetting something…. oh well. Get to it. Adelante. Thanks!

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