Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ya Terminé

First, here's a shout out to Robin for knowing who said the quote from yesterday's post. Check out her blog, Shrink Rap.


I've picked up lots of Spanish phrases since living here. Things that aren't in the phrase books but I use all the time. The following are a few examples, plus my definition as I understand them:

¿Mande? - come again?
said when you don't hear/understand another person

Que vaya bien - have a safe trip
said to a person who's leaving, whether it's a store, restaurant, or home

Andele pues - come on then
a way of saying goodbye when you're trying to cut off the conversation

Ya terminé - I'm finished
said when you've finished eating and the server can take away your plate


when you finish your novel. :)



ac said...

I love this post. So many people think that Hispanics are all the same. Same food. Same culture. Same sayings.

I went out with friends and on the menu were quesadillas. Someone turns to me and says, "You must feel right at home. Look quesadillas."

"I'm Puerto Rican." I responded.

She said, "I know. Order up."

Now call me crazy, but even if I were Mexican, I doubt that the mere inclusion of quesadillas on a menu would make me feel 'right at home.'

Anyway, back to your post. Mande for us means 'send' Could you ask your husband if that is also a defination in Mexico?

Puerto Ricans just say que (what) or we'll use como (i'm not sure of the exact translation. como means 'as' but in this case the translation doesn't seem to fit. Is 'como' used in Mexico when someone doesn't hear or understand something?)

Andele pues I've heard before but because I'm Puerto Rican the phrase isn't used amongst the family.

Que vaya bien and Ya termine are phrases we use.

Melanie Avila said...

AC, I was hoping you'd comment!

I'm pretty sure mandar also means to send; perhaps the command comes from "send it again"? That one stuck with me because the family was teaching it to our 2-year old nephew when I moved in.

They do use como and que.

I hear you on the quesadillas. I overheard some Americans at a really nice beach restaurant getting pissed because no one had "Mexican" food. They wanted Taco Bell. *shakes head*

Janet said...

woo, congrats on finishing the novel!!

spyscribbler said...

Congratulations, Melanie! That's totally awesome! Yay for you!

ac said...

Here I am rambling about my Puerto Rican ways and didn't offer a congrats on finishing your novel.

That was quick no?

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Janet & Spy!

And thanks Auria. :) I started it in February, so it took three months longer than my memoir. This speed seemed more comfortable.

Zoe Winters said...


Wow, that "have a safe trip" almost sounds ominous, when used for everything.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Zoe! Que vaya bien is mostly just a nice expression. I'm probably not translating it exactly right, but I hear it all the time: from the lady at the market, Ibis' boss, the checker at the grocery store... you get the idea.

Jenna said...

Congrats cuz!!!

Does it feel like, really good?

Here's a little side question for you too...what category would you put your novel in? Correct me if I'm wrong but at one point did you think maybe it would be a thriller?

The reason I ask is, there is a used bookstore by me and if you wanted to read up on any thrillers (or mystery or other stuff) I may be able to grab you some cheap paperbacks.

Let me know!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Jenna! I'm not as excited as I'd expected because I already know many scenes that need to be expanded or written entirely. But I am happy. :)

I've just been thinking it might be contemporary fiction. I wouldn't call it literary. There's a bit of excitement at the end but I've decided there's not enough to qualify for the thriller label.

Thanks for the offer of books - I'm trying to think of some authors I've wanted to read. My mom has SO MANY that I just pick from her shelf. I'll let you know.

Rafael said...

Congrats. BTW, those phrases are mostly Mexican phrases, other places have other phrases although I am sure people would understand what your are saying and think you are Mexican in the process, which is not bad at all! ;-)

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Rafael. I kind of assumed they were Mexican since I'm living in Mexico. ;) I studied Spain Spanish in school, plus lived with Puerto Rican kids, so I know slang from a couple different dialects.

Janna Qualman said...


Turkey Lurkey said...

Yay! Time for a happy dance!

WendyCinNYC said...

Congrats, darlin'. Have a cookie.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks ladies. I will dance with my cookie. :D

Robin said...

Congratulations, Melanie!!!

Now, I must come clean. I was at the beach with no computer since Saturday. I just tuned in to catch up with your blog, and realized I was falsely rewarded for getting the friends quote. I'm living a lie! There is another Robin! Another smarter Robin who Googles better! Aarg! I'll understand if you take my link away. I'm so ashamed.

Melanie Avila said...

OMG! That is fricking hilarious!

Robin said...

Yeah, I'm the other Robin, only I'm not a "she", just a good ole southern redneck guy.

Regarding your post, I spent about 3 1/2 months in McAllen, TX on business, right on the border near Renosa, Mexico. I picked up a few words here and there but the locals always spoke so fast that I couldn't converse with them at all or even understand what they were saying. They may have been calling me a fata** redneck for all I know, however, I do find the language very interesting and would love to learn more of it.

Melanie Avila said...

I'm so confused. So you - Mr. Robin - correctly guessed the quote?

I think I've got it now.

That's interesting you bring that up because I'm searching for a term that applies to Mexicans on their way to sneaking across the border. Not the ones already there, the one on their way. Maybe this should be tomorrow's post...

Robin said...

Yeah, it was me, Mr. Robin, that Googled the answer. I'm a blog surfer and found yours through a comment you made on a freind of mine's(mind over mullis) blog a while back. I was intrigued by your writing and have visited several times. Hope you don't mind me lurking.

Melanie Avila said...

No, get out! :D

That's cool - I read Amy's blog but don't usually comment. She's a funny lady.

Lurk away. ;)