Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dar Papaya


The greatest joy of learning a new language (besides that naïve yearning for that mystical day in the not-so-distant future when everything just “clicks” and you suddenly realise “Hey! I’m fluent!”) is learning local idioms that make absolutely no sense when translated literally.
A favourite expression I have heard around these Colombian parts is “No dé papaya!” (“Don’t give papaya”!) which could be loosely correlated to the English saying: "Don't tempt fate".
La alegría más grande de aprender una lengua nueva (aparte de ese anhelo inocentón de ese día místico en el futuro no tan lejano cuando todo caiga en su lugar y de repente te des cuenta que "Oiga! Tengo fluidez!") es aprender los modismos locales que no tienen ningun sentido cuando estan traducidos palabra por palabra.
Una expresión la que he oido alredador estes partes colombianos es "No dé papaya!" que podría estar correlacionada libremente con la expresión inglés: "Don't tempt fate".

Dar papaya (modismo)
- literally “to give papaya”: here, papaya is used to mean something like vulnerability, if you DO give papaya, you are making yourself an easy target (for example, flashing your iPhone around at night in a dodgy neighbourhood whilst walking past a group of unsavoury characters would be you giving papaya) hence “No dé papaya” is a general well-meaning term of caution.

Last night, Antonio "gave papaya" and his car was stolen; he had parked on the street and left his keys in the ignition.
Anoche, Antonio dio papaya y le robaron su carro, lo aparcó en la calle y dejó sus llaves en el encendido.