This story comes from another one of our students. It was during his first years at the University in Mexico City Distrito Federal when one of his friends (who, for the sake of simplicity, we will call Fulano) ran into some European tourists. One of the tourists said, “Do you know where the football stadium is?” Fulano, an elementary student of English, mustered up the courage to try out his new English skills and replied, “Yes, of course. TODO right” while pointing to the road ahead. The tourists thanked him, said good bye and were on their way. As Fulano watched them walk down the road, he was surprised when he saw them turn right at the very next street. He didn’t think much more about it and proceeded to his next class.
Not much time had passed when again; he was approached by some tourists who asked if he could give them directions to the football stadium. This time, he would get it right. He would speak clearer and slower so that they would understand his directions. “TODO right” he said to the tourists while at the same time pointing up the street in the direction of the football stadium. They thanked him and proceeded down the street. He watched with anticipation, thinking to himself, “keep going, keep going.” Just as the tourists reached the first street, they turned right. In his thoughts, Fulano asked himself, “Why do they keep turning right when the stadium is straight ahead?”
In Spanish, just as in English, the word right can mean different things. If you click here, you can see the many different definitions for right in English. In regards to the Spanish translation, let’s take a look at just some of the definitions.
A la derecha: To the right
Tienes todo el derecho: You have every right
Derechos Humanos: Human rights
Tus derechos: Your rights
Sigues todo derecho: Go straight
In this last example, you might be able to see how the word derecho (straight) and todo (all the way) may be translated as “Todo right” or as Fulano thought “Straight ahead.” The tourists only understood the word right and saw Fulano pointing up the street.
Thanks again to our students for sharing these wonderful stories with us. Make sure you take time to comment on this and our other posts as well as share us with your friends and contacts with the buttons provided at the bottom of every post. Thank you for reading.