The Star Chamber Mexican-Spanish Phrasebook

Happy Groundhog Day!

Groundhog Day is a welcome cross-quarter day — halfway between the winter solstice and the first day of spring, it’s a reminder that warmer days are really coming, even if you don’t quite believe it yet. It’s opposite

Grounding Day
(August 2) on the calendar and as part of its official celebration, good citizens everywhere join to rip down and destroy any faded Christmas decorations left up by their lazy or misguided neighbors. We at the StarChamber would like to encourage our readers to participate in the celebrations: discharge your civic duties and pull down those browning wreaths and rotting strings of twinkling lights wherever you find them. It will relieve that midwinter depression, your neighborhood will look so much better, and you’ll get to enjoy the traditional Groundhog Day martini with your fellow revelers. And that’s what it’s all about, after all.

This week’s contribution is a joint effort of Paracelsus and zaP, just in time for your winter trip to sunnier regions.

The Star Chamber Mexican-Spanish Phrasebook

The Star Chamber Mexican-Spanish Phrasebook

You’ve finally gotten around to planning that long-delayed trip to Mexico… good for you! When you go, be sure to take plenty of dinero, a good attitude, and a secret weapon for cultural survival: your Star Chamber Mexican-Spanish Phrasebook. Our expert linguists have labored to bring you a Spanish phrasebook specifically geared to the cultural sensitivities of our neighbors to the south. We think you’ll agree with the hundreds of satisfied users of the Star Chamber Foreign Phrasebook series: our phrasebooks are quite satisfying! And as they say in Mexico: ¡Buena suerte!

Also in the Star Chamber Travel series:

Romanian Holiday

Wlzcktzy on Three Zlotys a Day

The Vince Lombardi Rest Stop (New Jersey Turnpike) on Three Zlotys a Day

Quick Pronunciation Guide

Ð as in Ðëð 

Ø as in Ýo-Ølfen 

Þ as in Þragalû
Æ as in Ælle McPhërsøn 

Å as in ÅÅÅÅÅ! 

¥ as in Thãt will ße ¥32,000 pleãsë


1. Daily Life 

Here are some phrases that are likely to be useful in the normal give-and-take of everyday life.


It’s not as bulky as you think. It folds up like this and fits in your pants.  


No es tanto bulto.  La doblas asi y la metes en tu bolsa del pantalon. 


My cat doesn’t like your noisy power tools.  


A mi gato no le gusta el ruido que hacen tus herramientas.
This is a kumquat. I eat them every hour as part of a religious observance. Esto es un kumquat.  Los como cada hora en observacion de mi religion.


2. Getting

to Know People 

The locals are just as frightened of you as you are of them! Try “breaking the ice” with some friendly phrases.


You are very lovely.  


Eres muy adorable.
Me? I’d say your daughter is even more embarrassed.  


¿Yo? Me parece que su hija esta mas avergonzada.
Where is the train station? ¿Donde esta la estacion del tren?


3. Emergencies 

Uh-oh! The inevitable “gotchas” of international travel can occur at any time. These life-savers have been compiled from years of experience.


Oh no! I’ve set fire to myself!  


¡Carajo! Me he prendido fuego a mi mismo.
Do you sell adult-size disposable diapers? Not for me, I mean. 


¿Disculpe, vende usted pañales deshechables para adulto? No, pero no para mi.
A Tanqueray martini, please, straight up with olives. Un martini Tanqueray por favor, derecho y con aceitunas.


4. Driving

a Car 

Concerned about driving a car in another country? Don’t be! In general, it’s much, much easier to flee the scene of an accident overseas.


Which of these do I push to make it stop?  


¿Cual de estos apachurro para que se detenga?
Really? That one and not this one over here?  


¿De veras? ¿Ese, y no el de aca?
Oh, I guess that’s what the problem was. The car is down there.  


Ah, pues ese es el problema.  El coche esta alla abajo.
I said I’m sorry. There’s no need to swear.  Dije que lo siento. No hay razon para decir majaderias.


5. Getting


You’ve just arrived at the airport. Now what?


To get to my house from the airport, first drive towards the airport exit. Good luck. As you exit the airport look for signs that indicate the way to the Viaducto. Take the Viaducto towards the west. Try not to drive in two lanes, these lanes are really narrow. After a few miles you will arrive at the intersection with the periferico. Exit onto the periferico heading north for about 6.215040397763 miles. At that point you will see the exit for the Reforma.  Take the first exit which has signs for Toluca. Follow Reforma until you see a street called Sierra Taraumara, turn right onto that street. Follow this road until you reach a road called Palmas. Turn right and left at the first intersection. I don’t remember the name of that road. A few blocks later turn right onto Sierra Vertientes and look for house number 137. Para ir de el aeropuerto Benito Juarez a mi casa, lo primero que tienes que hacer es salir del aeropuerto. Buena suerte. Al salir del aeropuerto tienes que buscar señales que te lleven al Viaducto. Toma el viaducto hacia el poniente. Trata de no invadir el carril de junto, son carriles bastante estrechos. Despues de varios kilometros vas a llegar a la interseccion con el periferico. Toma el periferico hacia el norte, como por 10 kms. Al llegar a la interseccion con la avenida de la Reforma tomala hacia Toluca. Da vuelta en la calle de Taraumara hacia la derecha y sigue derecho hasta llegar a la Palmas. Toma las palmas a la derecha y vuelta a la izquierda en la siguiente calle. No me acuerdo como se llama. En la interseccion con Sierra Vertientes da vuelta a la derecha y busca el numero 137.


6. Basic Communication 

Don’t let your rudimentary language skills stand in the way of a great vacation!


No, you should roll your Rs more, like this: rrrrr.  


No, deberias de pronunciar tus eRRes mas asi: rrrrrrr
Spanish is my native language. How could you tell?  


Mi lengua natal es el Español. ¿Como lo


I’m sorry, I can’t understand you. I don’t speak English. 


Lo siento no le comprendo.  No hablo Ingles.
Would you like this phrasebook? I really don’t need it. 


¿Te gustaria este libro de frases? Yo no lo necesito.



A collaborative effort of zaP and Paracelsus

and a tip o’ the graphical hat to Matt Feazell of Not Available Comics

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