1. “Echar un polvo” instead of “estar hecho polvo”
You’re exhausted, which is what you wanted to say, but that’s the reason your brain has just failed to accurately remember the idiom you were trying to use. Why is everyone looking at you like that? Because instead of saying “estoy hecho polvo” (“I’m really tired”), you’ve just said “echo un polvo” (a colloquial way of saying you have sex). Idioms are tricky!
2. “Me gusta la polla” instead of “me gusta el pollo”
You’ll blush when you realize what you’ve just actually said. You were trying to make conversation, to use your limited Spanish skills because you know the best way to learn a language is by getting out of your comfort zone and speaking it. Even if you can only say trivial things such as “I like chicken”. We applaud your efforts! Just a detail: you just said “polla” instead of “pollo”, and yes, it can be a feminine chicken, but it’s also a vulgar word for “penis.”
3. “Me gusta correrme” instead of “me gusta correr”
You survive your polla/pollo mistake, laugh with your interlocutor, and decide to forget about it and continue the conversation. But let’s change the subject, talking about food got you into trouble, but what could possibly happen if you talked about sports? Let’s ask him if he likes running! “¿Te gusta correrte?” -you feel proud because you used the reflexive pronoun, but the other person has just blushed and started to laugh again. You’ve just asked if he likes to come, as in have an orgasm. Oops.
4. “¡Estoy caliente!” instead of “¡Tengo calor!”
It’s too warm, you’re feeling hot because of the temperature and you say it. The mistake? You’ve just said you’re horny. We understand what you mean, don’t worry, but you might also become the target of our jokes for a while. It’s just too easy.
5. “Los cojones” instead of “los cajones”
This is not so common because you don’t talk about drawers every day, but that also makes it more dangerous. It’s easy to forget a word you don’t use that often. It’s easy to mistake one letter for another. It’s so easy to end up talking about testicles instead of drawers!
6. “Tu puta madre” instead of “de puta madre”
The mistake here might not make the other person laugh, because, well, you’ve just insulted their mother. “De puta madre” means “cool!” or “great!.” “Tu puta madre” means “your whore mother”. Better to avoid any risk by not using any of these expressions at all.
7. “No quiero follar” instead of “no quiero fallar”
You’re trying to get it right, you don’t want to fail or make mistakes. That’s what you were trying to say anyway, but you just made everyone uncomfortable (again!) by stating that you don’t want to fuck. TMI?
8. “Tengo 30 anos” instead of “tengo 30 años”
Here’s a secret: that weird symbol over the ‘n’ is not a mistake or a stain. ‘Ñ’ is a letter with a different sound to ‘n’, and can make words mean something really different. One example? “Año” means year. “Ano” means anus. And that’s how your conversation about age has just turned into a conversation about butts.
9. “Quiero follarte” instead of “quiero apoyarte”
I know, I know, you’re thinking these two words are not so easily mistaken. That’s what we thought too until our own former Spanish PM José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who let’s not forget is a native speaker, made everyone laugh by saying he had just made “un acuerdo para follar” (a deal to fuck) with Russia. He was trying to say “apoyar” (“support”), but his tongue betrayed him. The Putin effect, they say.