Thursday, July 18, 2024

Bilingual laughs: The best Mexican memes of the week

It is time once again, my friends! If you love Mexican memes and you have a questionable sense of humor like I do, then you’ve come to the right place.

Seriously though. What better way to learn about Mexico and its humor than through the Spanish-language memes currently making the rounds? See below for some hearty laughs, complete with translations. Enjoy!

Meme translation: “The good thing is that you have your kitty so you won’t feel lonely.” “Safe distance, safe distance!!!” 

What does it meme? Well, here it is, folks: the reason I’m not really a cat person. (Why can’t they just let me love them?)

“Safe distance” doesn’t actually do the translation above justice. During the pandemic (oh, how distant it seems now!), the Mexican government came up with a character named “Susana Distancia” as a catchy way to illustrate and remind people (mostly kids) how far they should be standing from each other to lower the risk of transmission.

The name “Susana” is common, and also means something if you split it up: “su sana…” (your safe…” in English). Cute, right? It was also a great opportunity for those who, like that cat, didn’t love being in close proximity with others in the first place.

Meme translation: “My body is like a Catholic church. Filled with bread, wine, and sin.”

What does it meme? Cute, right? I imagine that this is something that would give most Mexicans (who are majority Catholic) a pretty good laugh. Especially now during the winter months, I’m heavy on the bread and wine – got to keep warm and keep up my reserves!

Meme translation: “What do you know about caresses if you’ve never traveled by metro?”

What does it meme? I’ll admit that this one is not new, but it’s one of my favorite ever so I just had to share it with you.

If you’ve ever traveled by metro on one of the more heavily traveled routes (especially during rush hour), you’ve probably, like me, stood staring in disbelief as more people than you thought possible packed themselves into a metro car. 

Don’t like people touching you? Too bad. Not only will you be squished in like sardines, you’ll have to fight your way both in and out. Godspeed! 

Meme translation: “When I see some chick graffitiing a monument that I peed on three days ago.”

What does it meme? It’s always during the annual women’s marches in Mexico that righteous indignation for the country’s symbols of patriotism swells like rainwater during a hurricane. 

Quite a lot of it is geared toward graffiti from the march – women writing feminist messages or symbols on highly visible monuments and buildings. It’s not very ladylike, and extremely unappreciated by those who would prefer the damitas stay home and wait patiently for their equal rights to show up. 

Do a side-by-side, though, and I don’t think you’d find much of a difference between women marching for their rights and the average male citizen when it comes to general respect for pristine public spaces.

Meme translation: “Men: not all men are like that.” “Men to their daughters: yes, all men, every single one of them.”

What does it meme? And speaking of feminism, a fair zinger, I’d say. 

When wondering about whether you really believe what you’re saying, a good question to ask yourself is this: Would I swear this to the person I most love if I knew they would take my words deeply to heart?

Meme translation: “Bro, how do I know if my Jordans are real or fake?” “Mm, look at the logo. Hold on, look…”

What does it meme? At least in the 20+ years that I’ve been here, Mexico has been a place where you can find counterfeit goods galore (the word that most people would use to describe a knockoff of something is “chafa”) – there are even certain markets that are famous for them.

I’d personally actually seek out those chafa sneakers above, and I’d be willing to be someone out there knew there’d be a market for them. (If any of you see them on sale anywhere, e-mail me? Thanks.)

Meme translation: “What is that?” “An insect.” “What kind?” “A green one.” “Right but what’s it called?” “Jonathan.”

What does it meme? Mexicans enjoy deadpan humor as much as the rest of us! Remember, if you’re not sure what something is called…you can always make up a name!

Sarah DeVries is a writer and translator based in Xalapa, Veracruz. She can be reached through her website, sarahedevries.substack.com.

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