American in Spain

No Naked Llamas

November 14, 2007

llama llama duckLast weekend, the in-laws came to visit. On Sunday morning, my father-in-law somehow talked the rest of us into driving 15 minutes away to a mine because he thought he remembered seeing some trees nearby that he knows produce a kind of berry that is in season in November. The place where we parked near the mine smelled like gasoline, and there was this sign that made me chuckle.

No Naked Llamas

The correct translation of this sign is: "Smoking or naked flame in 15 meter area prohibited."

The word llama has three meanings in Spanish:

  1. Flame
  2. A conjugated third person singular form of the verb llamar meaning "to call". For instance, "Él se llama Juan." means "He calls himself Juan.", and "¿A quién llama?" means "Who is he calling?"
  3. Llama, the camel-like animal. Same as in English.

If you read the sign using the last definition, it's kind of humorous that they would ban smoking and nude even-toed ungulates within 15 meters. These are the kinds of strange thoughts that pass through my head sometimes.

The trees weren't the right kind and we didn't get any berries.