Saturday, August 7, 2010

La gata.....does not mean a female cat

Chris Says:

The adventure continues....

Wilmer and I have figured out a very good way to communicate while I continue to learn Spanish, and he continues to learn a little bit of English. He gets a paper and pen/pencil and writes down while I read and when I don't understand, will use Google Translate. Unfortunately, I think Google maybe doesn't do the best job with word meaning and context.

Wilmer came up today and started talking about our tires and a cat? He wrote down 'la gata' and said we needed to get a new one. Eventually, through a few minutes of discussion and a little bit of miming I figured out that 'la gata' is a car jack.

Alright Spanish speaking family and other readers who know more about Spanish than I do. Is 'la gata' the term you would have used to describe a car jack, or is this more of a local terminology? Am I correct in thinking using the term and what its meaning is - is dependent on the context?


  1. There are lots of words like "la gata" that you need the context to understand.

    I cannot think of any others right now - but I also know that there are some Honduran slang words (caliche) and Honduran words that have very peculiar meanings, e.g., "cheque" which does and doesn't mean a bank check. In Honduras, "cheque" is used almost constantly as a way of saying "right," "good," "ok," "sure" and only God knows what else.

    So don't get out your check book if someone says "cheque" after you've told them something.

    By the way, "caliche" is the word use for "slang," both here in Honduras and El Salvador.

  2. Thanks John, we learned very quickly about "cheque" as a way to say, "ok".

  3. Or a female cat...which is what I think you mean :)

  4. hahaha, what a good blog, I'm from san pedro sula, and only speak Spanish (use google translator), if I do not understand is that the google translator is bad XD.
    for your learn Spanish faster, do not worry about the Hondurans, including Honduran native who am I do not understand many words that use a lot of people.
    example: paniquiado, maqueado, hacerle el rolin peña, venga venga, tururu, and more, more, more, more.

    (Lots of nonsense, I do not understand and I have 22 years of age and born and living in the city, xd).

  5. Hi Chris! Your mom told me of your new adventure and blog. I wanted to let you know I work with a ministry that has orphanages in Honduras, the main one being in Comayagua. The lady they have running things for them in Honduras is a highly respected lady with connections to and is known by the United Nations. If you like, I can get her contact info just so you have another person who can help you out should the need arise. I'm pretty sure it would help put your mom at ease! Enjoy your adventure!

  6. well it is also slang in the regetton music : the b word but in your case he didn't refer that maybe like you said in latin america it has different meanings

  7. Gato is cat but gata specifies a female cat although in Mexico and possible some other places gata can also (in the context of talking about cars and mechanics) mean a jack (tool).

    English does the same at times. For example "jack" might be used as a man's name, a donkey, to cause something to go up (jack that up!), etc.

  8. I'm learning Spanish through a program and I think this is why I didn't like it when I went to school, since there is proper and slang spanish!! Makes it very hard to decipher this language!!!!

  9. I too thought that Gata translated to spanish is cat. very confusing! I know Gato is cat, so in the feminine term it should be gata.


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