Monday, June 21, 2010

Allá viene la combi

Before we can talk about what this phrase means, we need to talk about what a combi is.  Actually, today's post is really about the combi itself, and not so much the Spanish.  Every now and then, despite not living in Mexico, I'm able to learn a little something about the life of the people on that side of the border, so I thought I'd share it with you.

While I've never actually ridden in a combi myself, now that I know what they are, I realize that I've seen plenty of them on my visits to Tijuana.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here you go:

A combi is nothing more than a van, basically your old school Volkswagon van.   To see more pictures of combi's,  click here. You really should take a look at the pictures, I found them fairly interesting.  In fact, here's one more:

As you can see, not all combi's are created equal.

Anyway, back to the combi.   In Mexico a combi is typically used as a taxi or bus, although as you can see by the photo above, they can serve other purposes.

While the focus of this post was really about the combi, we still need to deciper our phrase: 

Allá viene la combi
There goes the combi

This something you might say as you miss your ride. 

Let me clarify that "Allá viene" literally translates to "there comes", but I chose to translate it as "there goes", because it sounds kind of clumsy in English to say "there comes". Just something I thought I should point out.

There's also another meaning to this phrase, which isn't really very nice.  It's not vulgar by any means, but it's not a very nice thing to say.  If you're interested, you'll have to read about it (click here) in my other blog "No seas pelangoche", which is all about the groserías of Mexican Spanish. 

Let's look at some other ways to use the word "Allá".  You can say things like:

Allá arriba
Up there

Allá abajo
Down there

Vamos para allá
We're going that way

Allá voy
I'm coming

That's it for today.   While this was pretty straight-forward, being able talk to your Mexican friends about combi's will certainly impress them.

¡Hasta la próxima! 

No comments:

Post a Comment