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How do you say this in Spanish (Mexico)?

If you don't speak Spanish in a Mexican neighborhood, you're screwed.

I think it would be:

Si no se habla español en un barrio mexicano, ya valió queso.

I'm trying to say the sentence using appropriate mexicanismos that wouldn't offend anyone.

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    No me parece adecuado convertir la frase en impersonal. Si está en segunda persona, se traduce en segunda persona. Que te responda un mexicano.
    – tac
    Jul 20, 2023 at 17:50
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    @tac En mi opinion, la frase inglés ya es una expresión impersonal. Entonces, la frase español necesita ser impersonal también.
    – Peter M
    Jul 21, 2023 at 14:53
  • @PeterM Desconozco si, en el inglés, es posible hacer una frase impersonal con un pronombre, como también desconozco el uso exacto que se le da a este tipo de construcciones. Pero el OP está pidiendo mexicanismos, de donde se infiere que el contexto de la frase debe ser informal. En general, no es adecuado usar frases impersonales si justamente lo que se desea es ‘romper la distancia’ entre el emisor y el receptor.
    – tac
    Jul 21, 2023 at 15:34
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    You should probably use using hablas and not habla unless you want to use usted on purpose.
    – Lambie
    Jul 21, 2023 at 21:19

1 Answer 1

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There are many forms to translate this sentence. Some of them formal, and also informal ways.

According to the original word

If you don't speak Spanish in a Mexican neighborhood, you're screwed.

It can be translated a Mexican way like this

(informal) Si no hablas español en un barrio mexicano, ya valió.

(informal) Si no hablas español en un barrio mexicano, ya valiste.

(informal) Si no hablas español en un barrio mexicano, ya valió queso.

(informal) Si no hablas español en un barrio mexicano, ya valió "burger".

(informal) Si no hablas español en un barrio mexicano, te ching*ste.

Those ways you can translate it, however, is important to note that there are no the unique forms to translate it. The mexican culture is rich of informal language and curious words.

According to your original translation

Si no se habla español en un barrio mexicano, ya valió queso.

The subject is "you" at the original sentence, so the translation to the spanish must be at second person too, at your translation, you're modifying the subject to "Si no se habla", that seems to be an impersonal form, that is not partially correct, first of all because of the sentence coherence. I’d recommend to translate the sentence at the same gramatical form as the original sentence.

On this words, we're using an spanish concept called tacit subject that refers to a sentence where the subject is assumed as "you" (in this case). You can assume the subject with the sentence context too.

Here

Si no hablas

The subject refers to "you", as in the original translation

If you don't speak

At the translation, the subject is referring to , you can note that adding to all sentences, the coherence will not be disturbed.

Si no hablas inglés

In this case, we're not using tacit subject, so the subject is clearly visible there.

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    I really think you can write chingaste in full and it would be the main translation for screwed.
    – Lambie
    Jul 21, 2023 at 21:18

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