I order a cup of coffee and a plain sundae. A plain sundae means ice cream in a sundae cup with chopped peanuts (sometimes). I look up at the menu. I see an insert advertisement that I read as:
“Extend your vacay.
Ponle sabor a tu diaz.”
As I know just enough Spanish to be dangerous, I do not understand how the top sentence in English, and the bottom sentence in Spanish have the same meaning.
I also think, I do not remember ever hearing or reading the words, extend or vacay used in Spanish. I do not know what Ponle means, but the rest of the sentence is, “flavor in your day.”
As nobody is in line, I ask the man who is waiting on me, “What is Ponle?” He smiles and asks me to repeat what I said. “Ponle, p o n l e”, I say. He holds one hand palm up and makes movements like clapping in slow motion with his other hand. Now I am really confused.
He sees my confusion, and calls over a woman worker. She asks, “What am I asking about?” I point to the advert, and I say, “The word ponle, what does it mean?” She looks up and says, “You want a Mango Smoothie, is that what you are asking?”, a picture of which was on the right side of the advertisement.
“No”, I say, the word ponle, p o n l e, what does it mean?”
The woman laughs over the confusion or over me, and says, “To put, ponle means to put”. I say, “Thank you”, and we laugh and smile.
They both look at me like I am a simpleton. As I take my ice cream and coffee I wonder how the first sentence means the second sentence, and why English and Spanish, one sentence each are on one small sign.
As it is slow, as in I am the only customer, and the man is still in front of me, I ask him, “Could I order a hamburger, and then say, Ponle queso porfavor?” He smiles, and says, “No, hamburger con queso.” I think, ‘I already know that…I am trying to understand Ponle.’ Okay, we have a language barrier, and he has work to do. I thank him and go sit down.
When I leave, I am thinking, “…how strange one sentence in English and one in Spanish, and both sentences saying different things. It must be a play on words that with my two year old level Spanish vocabulary, I do not get.”
I look at the advertisement one last time, so I will remember the words, and I now read, “Extend tu vacay. Ponle sabor a tu diaz.” I had read the words wrong.
The first three words must be Spanish because of the middle word tu which I automatically translated the first time I read the sign into ‘your’. I never heard the words, Extend or Vacay, used in Spanish before. I am also not to sure ‘vacay’ is a word, more like a contraction. How do the two sentences mean the same thing?
I had totally missed the word ‘tu’. “Extend tu vacay”, was English to me, my brain made ‘tu’ into ‘your’. Vacay it turns out is slang, for vacation. The advertisement is really saying in [mostly?] Spanish, “Extend your vacation. Put flavor in your day.”
So now I am wondering, Spanglish is the new Spanish?