In English, the word “hot” can refer to temperature, spiciness or to attractiveness. The word for “hot” in Spanish, in reference to temperature is caliente, which also has more than one meaning. Just not the same meanings as in English. So, check out this story that teaches you which is the most embarrassing English to Spanish translation for HOT you could ever made. The meaning connotation is surprising.
I have a friend, let’s call him Matt. He married an Argentine woman. While his Spanish has improved greatly over the years, it was far from fluent during the beginning of his relationship.
The first time he met his fiance’s parents, he was understandably nervous. They spoke almost no English, so he had no choice but to put his shaky Spanish to the test. In an effort to act casual with his soon-to-be mother in law, he attempted to point out his wife’s attractiveness.
“Ella es muy caliente”
Much to Matt’s surprise, the mother did not seem pleased by this comment. Matt thought he was saying “She is very hot” as in, she is looking good today.
Caliente means horny. So instead of complimenting this woman’s daughter, he had just informed his mother-in-law that her daughter is a horny person. What Matt should have said is “Ella es muy atractiva.”
Be careful with caliente! It’s a dangerous word!
To avoid similar embarrassing situations with basic Spanish, check out more of the Speaking Latino’s English Spanish articles.
Have you personally run across any other dangerous word mix-ups?