I’m living in the Spanish Foreign Language House in college. The FLH is an entire wing of a dorm filled with American students looking for more opportunities to learn a chosen language by living with other students who want to practice speaking it. One of our weekly activities is a dinner in a private dining room in the dorm where we’re not allowed to utter a word of English. Occasionally, these dinners are attended by guest language professors or native speakers who help us with conversational skills, pronunciations, colloquialisms, etc.
The only night in my two years in the FLH that our dinner guests are honest-to-goodness royalty—the actual freakin’ king and queen of Copacabanastan (I forget the actual name of the South American empire they kinged and queened over)—I manage to let out a burp that’s loud enough to silence a room filled with about 50 people.
To top it off, I suddenly realize I don’t know how to say a simple “excuse me” en español. But I’ve learned that you can often make a real Spanish word by simply Spanishizing a related English word and you’ll be right more than half of the time. So I take a guess at something that I hope shows suitable remorse over my rude outburst, and I announce to the room: “Soy embarazado.”
It’s only after the entire room (and its attending royalty) stop laughing—and I mean laughing—at me does someone finally tell me that I’ve just explained my belch to the king and queen of Copacabanastan by telling them that I’m pregnant.