Sometimes, even native Spanish speakers can get tripped up by words and phrases used in other countries. A good friend of mine, Jorge is from Colombia but moved to Argentina to go to school. His Spanish and English are both impeccable, so I take great joy in any of his minor slip ups. It just makes him more human.
When he first moved to Argentina, he worked in a call center in customer service. During one of the training sessions, Jorge asked what he should do if a client was upset about something specific. The manager replied with “Mandá fruta” (Literally, send fruit).
Jorge was surprised but thought it was pretty cool that the company sent fruit baskets to displeased customers. He went on believing this for a while. Luckily, an Argentine explained the phrase to him before Jorge promised any fruit baskets.
In Argentina, “Mandar fruta” means “to bullshit” or make something up. So, in this case, the manager was telling him to just bullshit and wing it.
To avoid mistakes like this one, have on-hand the book Speaking Argento: A Guide to Spanish from Argentina.
Have you ever translated something literally and had the meaning wrong for a while before being corrected?
Check out these other Argentina Spanish Slang Expressions articles.