English and Spanish have many idioms that are similar

English and Spanish have many idioms that are similar and some, in fact are precisely the same. To wit: “Think before you speak” – “Antes de hablar pensar.” Or this one: “He who laughs last, laughs best” – “El que ríe ultimo, ríe major.”
Pueblo Chico, Infierno Grande directly translated means “Small Village, Big Hell” but it boils down to one all encompassing meaning: You are in trouble. There’s not a lot that goes on in a Mexican village, no matter the size, that isn’t news, and false information abounds. Puerto Vallarta is no exception.
If you want to keep something hush-hush, make sure you keep it to yourself. If you repeat a rumor and say “Don’t tell anyone but…” you can be assured the receiver will go to the next person and declare “I’m not supposed to tell anyone and don’t repeat this …” And that’s the way it goes.  Puerto Vallarta is a small town and stories get passed around at lightning speed. Facebook has expedited hearsay and, in spite of the social network’s expediency, there are still a lot of message boards that relate specifically to Puerto Vallarta, and Mexico in general. Many people, who think they have all the answers, are inclined to post information that is simply not true and is come cases, cause minor and major problems. For example, there are no set amounts to offer a policeman to bribe him out of a ticket. It’s not $100 pesos or 200. It’s zero. Don’t ever propose to a cop that you can give him a mordida; it’s against the law. Another long running statement that you will even find on travel sites: The water in Puerto Vallarta is purified. Maybe it is but our advice is Don’t Drink the Tap Water. If you order a glass of water in a restaurant, they will bring you water from a large bottle.
These are minor problems compared to the poor guy who gets blamed for cheating on his wife, whether he’s guilty or not, but there are many big hells in a little village, caused by incorrect (and sometimes accurate) information. The best advice is to not pass on what you hear or read; unless you are 100% sure it’s the truth. Another Spanish idiom we’re fond of is “En boca cerrada, no entran moscas.” It’s similar to the English “Open mouth, insert foot” but it has a much more graphic image: “In a closed mouth, flies do not enter.”
Que es cómo es.


Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!

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