Here’s how I humiliated myself by making a sexual comment with the teacher sitting next to me.
My face went red but it wasn’t from the heat. And it was bloody hot – way hotter than this Tasmanian is used to.
It gets that way in Mexico. Even worse, I was in a language-training center with dodgy air conditioning. Only mad dogs, Englishmen and a sweaty Tasmanian, like me, would put up with it.
I lean over to the girl next to me and say, “Estoy caliente.”
She looks at me like I am a freak and moves her chair away from me.
I didn’t get it.
My dictionary told me that estoy meant I am and caliente meant hot. It was hot, I was hot, so what’s the big deal?
Maybe you figured out why she moved her chair already.
It wasn’t the sweat.
In Spanish saying, estoy caliente is no double entendre. It only means one thing. I had just said to her, “I am horny.”
We were friends and she knew I was just learning Spanish so she gave me a wry smile and let it go.
But Manuel didn’t let it go.
He fancied himself as an actor. He’d even had a few minor parts in telenovelas (Spanish soap operas).
He insisted that I needed acting coaching.
“Copy me”, he said. “Try this.”
“No, no, Marcus! Is no good lika dat. yoo look lika you wanna killa Is like dis:
You gotta stretch it.”
“Yes, yes yoo got it, now try it.”
So I did.
She just looked at us and said firmly, securely and with a sneer, “No GIRL likes that.”
She put the two 30 something adolescents firmly in their places.
We all had a bit of fun and it ended up being Manuel and me with the red faces. We looked stupid and she had all the dignity.
I never made those mistakes again. Never again did I act out sleazy lines in acting classes from Manuel. And I never again said, “Estoy caliente.”
Here’s what to say when you mean “I am hot” (because of the weather):
Literally, I have heat
Never say “estoy caliente” unless you want to sound like Austin Powers.
You can also say “me siento caliente” – I feel hot. But that one can also have a touch of Austin Powers.
Here’s a way to sound even more authentic without any double meanings.
Me da calor.
Literally you are saying “it gives me heat” but it works just like saying “I feel hot.”
If I’d used that, they would have been impressed. I wouldn’t have had to endure the humiliating Latin lover class and the chair would have stayed where it was.
If you’d like to add authenticity to your Spanish, grab my free Spanish Dictionary of Idioms.