Embarazada. 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!
Important (and quick) side note!
If you’re reading this you’re probably learning Spanish at a beginner or intermediate level, and if so could I recommend you quickly check out a site called Yabla? They teach you Spanish using videos made by and for natives (e.g. TV shows, movies, YouTube videos, cartoons, news and documentaries originally made in Spanish-speaking countries for native speakers) coupled with a set of tools specifically designed for that purpose which are integrated into the video player:
- Verbatim subtitles in Spanish shown at the same time as English subtitles (you can turn either or both on or off)
- An integrated dictionary and flashcard system that both automatically looks up a word in the subtitles when you click on it as well as adds it to your flashcards for later review
- Exercises and quizzes about what you just watched that make you apply the new Spanish you just learned.
Check it out here (discounts for educators and institutions, by the way, I know a lot of you are teachers) or read my full review if you’d like more information (and screenshots of the system) first. Back to the article…
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 😀