spanish gringo errors embarazadoEmbarazada. Ohhh how much you look like “embarrassed”, embarazada.  Any English-speaker would look at that word and immediately, and for obvious and perfectly logical reasons, guess that it means “embarrassed”.  Most times if a Spanish word looks very similar to an English word that you know, it does, in fact, mean either precisely the same thing as that word or something very similar!  Examples abound: alfabeto (alphabet), gracia (grace), huracán (hurricane), chocolate (chocolate), adorar (to adore), dividir (to divide), and on and on and on (see a longer list here).

Why did those Spaniards have to try to trick us poor, helpless gringos with words like these?  Was it because they were just in a nasty mood that day? Did they eat some rotten paella?  Perhaps they just wanted to ensure endless amusement for their fellow Spanish-speakers for centuries to come at the expense of hapless English-speakers attempting to learn their language.

You have no idea how entertaining it is for native Spanish-speakers to hear a middle-aged white guy from Texas say “¡Oy! ¡Estoy tan embarazado!” Really??!  Well…congratulations! When are you due?


Embarazada (normally only ever embarazada for reasons that will be obvious to you in a second) means…pregnant! Hey, now you’ve definitely got something to be embarrassed about!

The common way of expressing embarrassment is with the word vergüenza, which means “embarrassment” or, literally, “shame” (it’s a noun).  The way this is done is to say that something gives you or someone else shame, for example:

“I’m so embarrassed!” = “¡Me da tanta vergüenza!” which literally translates to “It gives me such shame!”

You could also say that you “feel” embarrassed by using “sentir vergüenza”, or “to feel shame” in the following manner:

“I feel embarrassed to tell you.” = “Me siento vergüenzado al decirtelo.”

That concludes our short Spanish lesson for today, I hope this prevents you from ever accidentally telling someone that you’re going to give birth, and that it leads to endless amusement for you when other English-speakers do 😀



P.S. I just found this, perhaps the only possible correct use of the word “embarazadoEVER, lol:



I see you've been here a while (3 minutes, 30 seconds, to be precise)!

That must mean you like what you're reading!  You're finding it interesting, useful, helpful!  Oh that's wonderful, there's nothing more rewarding for a writer than knowing their material accomplished its goal of helping someone, of telling them something they didn't know before, of providing them with useful information!

Would you like more of the same? I can help you, Spanish students and teachers!

I have whole series of emails (many series!), lists of the most useful free online resources, and more to help beginning/intermediate Spanish students as well as Spanish teachers (a lot of that information is useful to both for different reasons).  If you'll subscribe to my email list right now I'll immediately send you my list of the Top 10 Free Online Spanish-Learning Resources as well as the first in my "Getting Started Learning Spanish" series, with much more to follow (e.g. my "Learn Spanish for Real" series where I teach idioms and slang from real-life contexts, "Learn Spanish from the News", "Learn Spanish on YouTube", and more!).

Thank you so much for giving me a chance and subscribing to my questionable writings, you'll receive your first two in the next few minutes - Andrew