I was asking a Spaniard today how to say "bouldering" in Spanish, because I realized I didn't know the word. The word for climbing is escalera, but that can mean all types of climbing (deportiva (sport), trad, mixto (mixed)), etc.
So the conversation goes like this:
Michele: Como se llama el tipo de escalera que hagas sin ropa?
And the guy I was talking to does a double-take and smirks at me. What I then realized is that what I said translated to:
Michele: "How do you call the type of climbing you do without clothes?"
But the guy was a champ and let the mistake slide. He calmly (well, with a smirk) answered:
Climber guy: Sin cuerda? Se llama escalera sin ayuda.
(Translation: Without rope? It is called "climbing without help").
Knowing that my favorite type of climbing is bouldering, the irony of translating this as "bouldering is called helpless climbing" does not escape me.
At least know I remembered that ropa means clothing - one of those words they teach you in 7th grade Spanish I never thought I would use (incorrectly) in conversation.