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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Spanish phrase of the day: ¡Llueve a cántaros!

This week in most places across Spain you are likely to find the need to use this phrase.

Spanish phrase of the day: ¡Llueve a cántaros!
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Wisegie/Flickr

Why do I need to know this phrase?

Because believe it or not, Spanish people love to make chit chat about the weather almost as much as their northern European counterparts.

Plus for most of us who live in Spain (with the exception of those who reside in the verdant rain-soaked north of the country in Asturias or Galicia) it’s a novelty to exclaim anything about the weather that doesn’t start with “¡qué calor!” which is surely the most common refrain uttered during the summer months.

And it's going to rain alot this week.

What does it mean?

 

Basically use it remark on the fact that it is raining an awful lot.

The literal translation is “it’s raining jugs” which sounds bizarre in English but then so does “it’s raining cats and dogs” which is the English phrase most similarly used to complain about a torrential downpour.

Use it like this

Está lloviendo a cántaros – It’s raining cats and dogs

 

Cuando llueve, llueve a cántaros – When it rains, it pours.

 

 

Synonyms

¡Están cayendo chuzos de punta! –  It's pouring down.

Está lloviendo muy fuerte – it's raining heavily.

If it's not raining heavily and what you're experiencing is more like a drizzle then this is the phrase to use: Está chispeando

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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Spanish Word of the Day: Chungo

This adjective is essential slang talk in Spain, a word with lots of meanings, all of them fairly negative.

Spanish Word of the Day: Chungo

Chungo is a colloquial way of saying that something is difficult, dodgy or bad. 

It can be used to describe a variety of scenarios and it’s a great way of talking like a native Spanish speaker. 

You can talk about the weather being chungo if there are ominous black clouds up ahead.

If you’re stepping into a dodgy neighbourhood, then watch out because it’s un barrio chungo

If you bought a hairdryer at the rastro (flea market) and it doesn’t work properly, then it’s clearly chungo, and the seller is just as chungo.

Maybe you’ve just sat an exam with complicated questions, you’d call it un examen chungo.

Or if you don’t feel very well, then you’re the one that is chungo

There’s even an expression to say that things aren’t looking good – la cosa está chunga.

All in all, chungo is a very versatile adjective that you can incorporate into most daily speech even though it’s colloquial. 

Here are some examples to help you get used to using chungo.

Example:

Está el tiempo un poco chungo, mejor no vamos a la playa.

The weather isn’t very good today, it’s best if we don’t go to the beach. 

Example:

¡Ojo! Es un tío bastante chungo así que no te fíes de él.

Be careful! He’s a pretty dodgy guy so don’t trust him. 

Example:

Le has comprado un perfume muy chungo a mamá por el Día de la Madre.

You’ve bought Mum a really crappy perfume for Mother’s Day.

Example:

El barrio de El Príncipe en Ceuta es muy chungo, ¡ten cuidado!

El Príncipe neighbourhood in Ceuta is very dodgy, be careful!

 

Example:

Me encuentro un poco chungo, con mareos y nauseas. 

I’m feeling a bit bad, I’m dizzy and nauseous. 

Example:

¿Dama de honor cuando el novio es tu ex? ¡Qué situación más chunga!

Maid of honour when the groom is your ex? ¡That’s an uncomfortable situation!

Example:

¡La cosa está chunga! El Barça tiene que marcar cinco goles para clasificarse.

Things aren’t looking good. Barça have to score five goals to qualify.

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