Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Colombia: Spanish Signs in Bogota, 2007

Spanish classes are very helpful in learning to converse and ask for basics when you travel to a Spanish-speaking country. There are certain words, though, that still surprise the visitor. For example, this photo, taken in front of an apartment complex, has a sign that delicately dances around a common problem by reading "Please pick up the needs of your pet."

Here's another: At first glance, it might seem strange for an apartment building to advertise a "shut" until you figure out that they mean a "chute" (and it's pronounced correctly as well) to dispose of your trash.

Another sign I wasn't able to photograph said "Respect the..." followed by a picture of a zebra. As it turns out, in Bogota zebra doesn't only mean a striped animal that you see at the zoo; it also is used to mean "crosswalk" for pedestrians. (In the US we have that sign that reads "Don't Block the Box" which, unless you can figure out that it also refers to crosswalks, could be equally confusing for non-English speakers. The sign is usually accompanied by a drawing but it's not necessarily clear at first glance what it's referring to.)

See my webpage on Colombia at http://www.latinandcaribbeantravel.com/colombia.html

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