Monday, June 24, 2024

Mirthful Mexican memes to manifest merriment

Just because you’ve been living in a pool of your own sweat — those of you in Mexico, anyway — doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your weekly dose of Mexican memes translated into English!

Sending you a high five from my sweaty hand to yours, with prayers for rain and cool breezes in all our futures.

Mexican meme

Meme translation: “There are two things I don’t publish on social media: my money and my partner. Not because I’m mysterious, but because I don’t have either.”

What does it meme? Well, it’s the thought that counts, I suppose! Privacy these days is an illusion anyway.

Mexican meme about dates

Meme translation: “Hey… what year is it?” 

“173 Before Christ.” 

“Who’s Christ?” 

“No idea.”

What does it meme? This one cracked me up because I’ve always wondered how people in the “B.C.” era counted their own years… before and after the agricultural revolution, perhaps?

However they did it, we know the Mexica and ancient Maya had their own advanced calendars, which you can see at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

A whatsapp conversation used as a Mexican meme

Meme translation: “I started seeing someone.” 

“Like going out with them, or like you’re hallucinating?”

What does it meme? Besides being cute, this meme makes for a good little Spanish lesson. 

“To see someone” means the same thing in English as “ver a alguien” does in Spanish — at last, an actual translatable phrase in which the various meanings are the same! Those can be hard to find, I know.

And by the way, if you’re wondering about why it’s “ver” and not “mirar,” it’s simply the difference between “see” and “look at.”

A mexican meme about bread

Meme translation: “The important thing is to eat a wide variety of food.” 

“Me choosing six different types of bread.”

What does it meme? If there’s ever an excuse presented for eating more pan dulce, I will 100% take it every time.

If you haven’t been inside a traditional Mexican bakery, you’re missing out. It took me a bit initially to get used to the drier consistency — they’re usually dipped in coffee, milk or hot chocolate — but once I did, I was all in. Go ahead, try every kind!

Meme translation: “Well I do like it when people give me little gifts made out of paper… the deed to a property, for example.”

What does it meme? The generation of workers who will never be able to afford to buy anything but a tiny sliver of property is upon us, on both sides of the border. For many, their only hope is inheriting something from an older, richer generation.

Even so, no one wants to seem shallow or “interesado,” the adjective we’d use for someone who’s only interested in someone’s money. So whether it’s an origami rose or a deed to a house, hey — we’ll take it!

A mexican heatwave meme

Meme translation: “Today I’m going to look fabulous!” 

“Good morning every…!” 

“This damn sun is the worst…” 

“Yeah, just horrible!”

What does it meme? Poor sun. It’s coming out for all of us, and who appreciates it?

With temperatures reaching painful highs all over Mexico in the past few weeks, it’s been hard to appreciate the lovely golden rays beating down on all of us. 

By the way, a note on the vocabulary: we covered “pinche” a few week ago in my article on curse words, but not “culero,” which is also a bad word that can mean everything from coward to asshole to something terrible.

Meme translation: “No amount of self-love can replace the support of a community.”

What does it meme? This one is sweet rather than funny, and it’s one of the many lessons that I think we can all learn from Mexican culture. You might get tired of spending 6-hour Sunday dinners with the family or having to show up to every cousin’s birthday party, but hey: it beats the loneliness of isolation every time and there’s no replacing real face-to-face support and community.

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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