Learning Spanish in Tenerife: English Words that Don’t Exist in Spanish.

Posted: January 10, 2010 in Life, Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , , , , ,

Precise – There’s a word I don’t use often here, in Spanish, English or any other language.

We recently bought a TDT digi-box and it has transformed our viewing pleasures. No longer do we have to sit through movies dubbed into Spanish where George Clooney’s smooth tones sound more like someone scratching chalk across a blackboard, or put up with Demi Moore’s too-sexy-to-be-good-for-you husky voice being replaced by some 99 year old crap actress who’s had a tracheotomy.

Now we can press a button and change many programmes into their original language, it’s fantastic. There’s also a button which, when you press it, tells you what time everything is on. However, this being Spain, it’s a complete waste of time.

The Spanish don’t seem to be able to do precise scheduling, so programmes that are due to start at 9.15pm say, usually start at around 9.25. It is a classic mas o menos approach. Once you’re aware of this, it isn’t really a problem; you adjust. What does drive me mad though is when they apply the mas o menos to commercial breaks. We were watching The Truman Show the other day and I’m pretty sure they left the film running for part of the break and completely missed a crucial part of the plot. Not only that, they inserted a huge chunk of the programme that was due to follow the movie in a commercial break about ten minutes from the end of the film!!!

When I’m in the middle of watching a movie, I don’t want to have to watch bloody Buenafuente for ten minutes – I want to watch the flippin’ movie.


I just can’t decide whether it’s incompetence, or they just think that life’s too short to bother with such things as meeting schedules and timing the film to start at the exact point they stopped it for the break.

The second example of a generic casual approach to being ‘exacto’ occurred in the supermarket this week. We were after some picada de vacuna (minced beef). However, when we looked through the trays of picada de vacuna, it didn’t take a butcher to spot that half of them weren’t actually picada de vacuna, they were picada de cerdo (minced pork). Somebody had cocked up. But to even it out, half the trays of meat in the picada de cerdo section were actually vacuna, unless pigs here have unusually deep red flesh.

But, hey it’s all meat, so I suppose it was mas or menos exacto!


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