Spanish Proverb teaching you to grab your life by the butt. 

But “Si la vida te da la espalda, PUES…..¡agárrale las nalgas!”

Let’s learn a popular proverb in Spanish that involves grabbing your life by the butt. In Spanish “la vida te da la espalda” literally means “life turns its back at you.” But what do we mean by that? Let’s learn about it.

It is very common idiom in Spanish. First off, when I say idiom, I am not attacking your character or insulting your intelligence.  If I did, I would call you an idiot—which would make two of us, because I am the king of idiots.  But no, I am referring to the word IDIOM.

And when I say idiom, I mean an abstract pairing of words that are intended to convey a basic idea.  Humans always must be clever you know.  Instead of, “it’s raining hard,” an idiom is, “it’s raining Cats and Dogs!”  If puppies and kittens were raining from the sky, it would be time to find a Bible or a big soft blanket and a friend to at least save a few!

Another idiom of the English language you are probably familiar with is, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew,” or, “I am bending over backward for these people.

Don’t you think it’s confusing for a non-native speaker or beginner in learning English to hear someone say, “It’s Raining Cats and Dogs?”  You could imagine the look on their face—a cross between eating a spoonful of fresh horseradish and seeing a plumber’s hairy butt-crack (at the same time).

In Spanish, there are idioms too, that are specific to the culture and language of the area from where the speaker comes from.

The Spanish idiom we are learning today is “Si la vida le da la espalda (a alguien)” which literally means: If life gives you the back.” But it is actually used when “somebody is going through very difficult times” … However, Spanish Speakers like to play with the idiom by saying “agarrale el culo” as “just don’t give a f***,” or “grab it by the butt.”  Another way to translate (literally) would be, “When life turns its back on you, grab it by the ass!” OR: “If somebody is going through tough times, then just don’t give a f***!”

It’s vaguely similar to the expression, “When Life Gives you Lemons make Lemonade,” or “Keep Calm and Carry On,” but better, of course—because it involves swear words and body parts—and grabbing!

You can’t let every little disappoint in life bring you down!  After all, there are only so many “F#@%’s” you can give, or else they ‘ll consume you.

Now you’ve learned something today.  There are so many fun, and exciting gems like this waiting in the Spanish language and culture, which I enjoy sharing with my students.  As a Spanish Teacher and Tutor, I get to see the smiles and curiosity on student’s faces when new ideas and phrases grace their minds for the first time.

Spanish instruction at Kasa De Franko is fun and stress-free, but no cakewalk.  At our lessons, available in person or online, we make sure to get you speaking Spanish from day one, and as much of it as possible.  By learning how to converse, and chat about things that are meaningful to you, learning Spanish in the Bay Area has never been so fun and easy.  So— “Si la vid ate da la espalda, ven a Kasa De Franko!”

If you have problems in life, come and take Spanish Lessons at Kasa De Franko!

Think in Spanish! Don’t just speak Spanish!

Embrace the Spanish Culture! Don’t just learn Spanish!


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