I want to share with you a funny experience that recently took place. I want to share this story with you because it illustrates two very common mistakes that English speakers make when speaking Spanish. You will also learn the following:

1. How To Say Male Animal In Spanish
2. How To Say Female Animal In Spanish
3. How To Say Male In Spanish

One morning I went with a Colombian “amigo” to buy a “perrito” (puppy) for his daughter’s birthday.

While in the “tienda de mascota” (pet shop), I noticed an English speaking male with his wife or girlfriend. I couldn’t figure out where he was from by listening to his accent. He wasn’t American.  But his native language was English. I believe that he was from New Zealand or Australia.

And I heard him ask the “muchacha” (girl) working in the “tienda de mascota” a question about one of the puppies.
He asked,

¿Ese perrito es un muchacho?
Is that puppy a boy?

 

Very Funny Spanish Mistake To Avoid

 

The “muchacha” working in the store then gave him a very confused look.

And then he asked her:

¿Ese perrito es un hombre?
Is that puppy a man?

Then she turned and looked at her “compañera de trabajo” (co-worker) as if she wanted to ask “do you understand this foreigner? Why is he asking is an animal a human?”

 

How To Say Male Animal In Spanish

 

Well, it is a common mistake for English speakers to refer to male animals as “muchachos” (boys) or “hombres” (men) when speaking Spanish. But the correct word for a male animal is “macho.” For example:

Mi perra tuvo una camada de siete cachorros, cuatro hembras y tres machos.

My dog had a litter of seven puppies, four females and three males.

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Back to the incident that took place this morning . . .

The English speaker then asked the “muchacha” (girl) another question. Referring to the same puppy, he asked:

¿Es una mujer? Is it a woman?

And again, the “muchacha” turned and looked at her “compañera de trabajo” (co-worker) with a very puzzled look.

 

How To Say Female Animal In Spanish

 

Well, it is also a common mistake for English speakers to refer to female animals as “mujeres” (women) or “muchachas” when speaking Spanish. The correct word for a female animal is “hembra.”

 

How To Say Male In Spanish

By the way, when referring to a human, the Spanish word for male is “varón.”

As we were leaving the “tienda de mascota” (pet shop), my Colombian “amigo” who also speaks English fluently — and happens to have a very warped “sentido del humor” (sense of humor) then said to me:

“Patrick, the Gringo’s mistake could have been worse. Imagine if he had made a mistake with his Spanish and asked the question in reverse: ‘¿Esa mujer es una perra?'”

By the way, in Colombia, I noticed that Colombians have a tendency to refer to any English-speaking foreigner as a “Gringo” — not just Americans.

Well, it is a common mistake for English speakers to refer to male animals as “muchachos” (boys) or “hombres” (men) when speaking Spanish. But the correct word for a male animal is “macho.” For example:
Mi perra tuvo una camada de siete cachorros, cuatro hembras y tres machos.

My dog had a litter of seven puppies, four females and three males.

Back to the incident that took place this morning . . .

The English speaker then asked the “muchacha” (girl) another question. Referring to the same puppy, he asked:

¿Es una mujer? Is it a woman?

And again, the “muchacha” turned and looked at her “compañera de trabajo” (co-worker) with a very puzzled look.