Today, I will talk about two Common Mistakes English Speakers Make When Speaking Spanish. Both mistakes are very funny. You will also learn how to say Dad in Spanish, how to say potato in Spanish, and how to say the Pope in Spanish.

An American friend who is here visiting Medellín, Colombia, made a very “gracioso” (funny) or “chistoso” (funny)  mistake when speaking Spanish. And I want to share it with you. Not only because I think that it is “muy chistoso” (very funny), but I also want to share this mistake with you so that you never make this same mistake.

This afternoon my American friend and I went to a Mexican restaurant here in Medellín for lunch. Let’s say my friend’s name is Mike (Not his real name.) Mike is from California. Mike started a conversation with the “mesero” (waiter) in Spanish. Mike asked him the basic questions:

¿De dónde es usted?
Where are you from?

The “mesero” then told Mike that he is from Colombia and that he is not Mexican but that he has traveled to
Mexico before.

Mike then attempted to tell the waiter in Spanish that his dad lives in Mexico. This is what Mike said to the waiter
that was so “chistoso” (funny):


How To Say Dad in Spanish

Mi papa vive en México.

When Mike said to the “mesero “Mi papa vive en México,” the “mesero” looked at me as if he wanted say “what is this crazy gringo trying to say?”

Do you see the mistake that Mike made? And I do NOT have a typo in the above line. Mike said
“Mi papa vive en México.” And Mike pronounced the word “papa” just like I wrote it — with
the stress on the next to last syllable. The Spanish word “papá” with the accent on the last syllable means “dad.”


How To Say Dad in Spanish


But the Spanish word “papa” with the accent on the next to last syllable means potato or Pope.


How To Say Dad in Spanish


How To Say Dad in Spanish


Mi papa vive en México.
My potato lives en Mexico.

Mi Papa vive en México.
My Pope lives en Mexico.

Mi papá vive en México.
My dad lives en Mexico.

So if you want to say the word dad in Spanish, make sure you put the stress on the last syllable when you pronounce “papá” or someone may think you are talking about a potato or the Pope.