“Can you pass me some of that nice, juicy cock, please?” was my first ever innocent Spanish mistake. To some people this would have seemed funny, but, unfortunately for her, and me, I was speaking to my mother-in-law.
“I think you mean chicken,” she said, politely; pointing out that chicken – pollo, was a tad different to cock – polla. I haven’t asked for cock at the dinner table since (or anywhere else for that matter). But, even now if there is chicken on the table, especially a big juicy plate of it, then I get bead of sweat dripping down my forehead as I focus on the correct ending of the word. I also always make sure when my in-laws come for lunch we opt for pork, or fish, but never chicken.
It’s been a long hard battle to get up to my level of Spanish (which is not fluent, nor accurate most of the time), and just recently I’ve begun to wonder whether I should get back to studying it again. I mean, after 10 years of living in Sevilla you would have thought that people would stop saying ‘you’re not from round here, are you?’ after listening to me speak more than a few lines. And I’m not just talking about grammar problems, silly accents, or rude innuendo mistakes.