Charming and Friendly Sayings in Different Languages
This is a compilation of charming and friendly sayings in various languages, that I learned while traveling in Central and South America.
For each saying, you’ll see the language, the spelling in that language, the phonetic spelling as it sounds to an English speaker along with the memory association I used to memorize it. You can borrow my memory associations or make up your own, just remember the more bizarre your memory associations are the easier to remember they will be to recall.
El placer fue a el mio — The pleasure was mine.
Todos Los caminos yeavan hacia aroma — Everyone has to find their own way.
Costa Rican Spanish
Pura Vida — Pure Life
Phonetically: PuRa vida (hard r, almost a d)
Pura > Pure
Vida > Vital (Vital signs, imagine and EKG or hospital machine that monitors heartbeat)
Visualization: Pure Costa Rican water (at a beach), then a giant hospital machine, displaying vital signs, falls into it, crashing.
Evita la cruda permanezca borracho — Avoid the hangover, stay drunk
Se mah le que
Leuk je te ontmoeten — Nice to Meet You
Phonetically: low qu e tu unt munten
Holland > Hollandaise sauce
low qu > a large queue (people standing in a line) being lowered on a crane
e tu > e tu brutus? A roman guard
unt munt > untz untz untz (sound of techno music) glow sticks, on a mountain (for munt)
Visualization: A massive amount of hollandaise sauce dripping on people in a queue, held up by a crane, knocking the people off as they fall to their deaths, as they fall they are impaled on a giant sword from a roman soldier (e tu), then the roman soldier joins a legion of Roman soldiers but instead of swords they have glowsticks and are charging up a mountain.
Neuken in de keuken = fucking in the kitchen
Nice to meet you
Phonetic: ‘Even luam da hone’
Evenluam> even lam
da hone > da (the) home (urban or hip hop looking home)
Visualization: Two giant lambs that are exactly the same even height with an even board across their backs. Run over and trample a house in the ghetto blaring hip hop music (da da da)
“I’d like to make sweet love to you”
Phonetic: Es ama thon more misha
Piacere — Nice to meet you
Phonetic: Pia ach erEY
Ma Kore ACH sheli — What’s up my brother?
Phonetically: Mako ve agch shelly — Drink Whore!
Phonetic: Tee shteh (soft e) zona
shteh> Stay (locked down)
zona > zone (barbed wire fence around it)
Visualization: I’m shooting with an Israeli Uzi a giant pot of tea that is chained down in a zone, which is surrounded by a barbed-wire fence.
hey doo beest sews! — You are pretty girls
Hay doo (pooping), best sowing
Visualization: A person pooping on hay then sitting in it and doing the best sowing
Prost — Cheers
Que Sopa! — What’s up!
Voce e uma borboleta linda — You’re a beautiful butterfly
Привет красивая девушка — You are a pretty girl
Phonetically: Privet krasivaya devushka
Drago mi je da sam vas upoznao! — Pleased to meet you
Phonetically: Drago me yeh da sum vas oop ouz now
Drago me > dragon me
yeh da sum > Yoda, sum (Yoda with a calculator)
vas > vase
oop ouz now > opps! ouch! now!
Visualization: I am riding a dragon, which is fighting a giant Yoda who is throwing deadly calculators at us. One of the calculators hits a huge vase and knocks it off its pedestal (oops!). It falls on my foot and hurts (ouch!). I need to go to the hospital Now!
Ti si veoma lepa devojka! — You are a very beautiful girl
Phonetically: ti si veoma lepa devolka
Trevligt att traffas — Nice to meet you
Phonetically — Trev leaked aght trefas (first a guttural)
Trev leaked > Swedish pornstar as TRex with a revving engine that’s leaking.
aght > ATT (phone company)
trefas > tree fast
Visualization: A giant blond pornstar/TRex hybrid has a revving engine in its belly and is leaking oil everywhere while talking on the phone (ATT). Then the TRex rides a tree fast.
Du er vacker -You’re beautiful
Du > Giant blond Swedish pornstar with “du du” (poop) on her
Er > Emergency room
Vacker > vacuum her
Visualization: Imagine a giant Swedish pornstar, covered with poop in an emergency room. It’s your job to vacuum her.
Skowl — Cheers
Memory Association: imagine yourself giving a cheers but instead of using a glass you are drinking out of a skull.
Smaken arrd som bakken — “The taste is like the behind” meaning that the opinions are different person to person
Nice to Meet You!
Phonetic: Freet me
Serefe — Cheers
Phonetic: shed eff ay
Tumb Que se ho — Nice to meet you
Check out my podcast, #30 Lifehacking Language Learning: Technology and Charm