The Importance of Pronouncing Your Rs

It was always going to be a difficult conversation. Sensitive negotiation would be vital. Careful preparation would have been nice but when he rang out of the blue on a Saturday afternoon he put R on the spot.

Unsurprisingly, R fumbled the first contact. It took a moment to figure out who the Spanish speaking caller was but then the penny dropped and the importance of the call made his heart lurch to the pit of his stomach. ‘Perdón, perdón,’ he stumbled, gushing his apologies for his lack of immediate recognition. (Or at least so he thought.)

It was at precisely this sensitive point in the proceedings that the toddler decided to pitch in. Loudly. ‘Papá, Papá,’ he yelled. ‘You just said trumpy-fart! Trumpy-fart, trumpy-fart, TRUMPY-FART!!!’

As I hurriedly ushered the (bi-lingual smartypants) toddler away from the range of the telephone microphone I was given pause to reflect on the importance of pronouncing your Rs. Because the toddler was right. Instead of excusing himself to his caller R had actually just repeated the word ‘pedón’ at him. Literal translation: big fart.


Say what now, Dad?

Say what now, Dad?




  1. Sorry – I know I shouldn’t – but laughing like a drain at this :-)

  2. From the mouth of babes – I must admit to using the same expression inappropriately on more than one occasion.

    • I think we’ve all probably done the same at some time. Let’s face it, the Spanish R is rather tricky for English tongues!

  3. Hahaha, love this!

  4. Love it! Around here it’s the “H’ that also gets dropped. We find it particularly prominent in the area between Harbour Main and Avondale. We say they “Drop the H in ‘arbour main and pick them up in HAvondale.” :-)

  5. Oh my lord, that’s hysterical!! Poor R… I hope he was able to carry on the conversation without collapsing into giggles!! :D

    • He manfully recovered himself, thank God! I think you just get used to making a bit of a tit of yourself as an expat struggling in a foreign language ;-)

  6. Now that’s one I didn’t know so thank for that. A bit like the difference between perro and pero, not quite the same obviously.

    Have you changed your website? I don’t remember having to fill in a form before.

    • You know, I don´t think I have ever pronounced perro correctly. Those damn RRs are tricksome!

      I have indeed changed the site. I´ve gone self-hosted. Am now at not Sorry if it’s a bit more complicated to comment. Am just glad you still managed to find me!

  7. Am I allowed to laugh – ha ha ha ha ha ha – Am I allowed to laugh some more? – Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. That really made me laugh! X.

  8. I hope the person on the other end was understanding! What a clever child you have!

    • He is indeed. A proper little smarty pants. Luckily Spanish people seem to be incredibly tolerant of blundering Brits and their language mistakes!

  9. Ha ha, reminds me if some many awkward Spanish moments and GCSE speaking exams!

  10. helloitsgemma says:

    Ah ha! know the character in this makes it so much more special to me! I love that his son has better Spanish than Dad – inevitable but imagine Mr Competitive still struggles with that!
    Am smiling broadly!

    • Yup. You can just imagine how it is. Dad fiercely arguing that he is, in fact, right when, of course, he just plain isn’t it. Life lessons from our children, eh?

  11. LOVE the new look! :) x

  12. Aha, that’s a funny thing ))) I love these language tricks) As a bilingual you might have a lot of fun with words that sound the same in different languages. For example, there’s a word in Russian sounding exactly like troop, but it means a dead body, so that when Russians read the word troop somewhere, they might mix the meaning)))

  13. HA! Oh blimey, I know I shouldn’t be laughing but that is so funny. Bless your smarty-pants toddler and his bilingual ways. And, of course, your flustered other half!

  14. HA! Oh blimey, I know I shouldn’t be laughing but that is so funny. Bless your smarty-pants toddler and his bilingual ways. And, of course, your flustered other half!

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