If you live in a student flat in Barcelona you should know an expression like this:

If you live in a student flat in Barcelona you should know an expression like this:

We are excited to know that you miss another article about local expressions, because that means that you follow carefully everything we write; and as the wishes of our students, are orders for us. Here we leave an expression that you will love to know.

"Con la iglesia hemos topado"

As in most  these expressions, the meaning has nothing to do with the literal meaning of the phrase. The important thing of this expression is to clarify the meaning of the word "topar" ( bump) since the word church is quite clear. “Topar” is finding yourself face to face with something, it is hitting something or someone, or finding something you were looking for, or stumbling on an obstacle in your way.

In a habitual conversation this expression is used to show impotence or resignation because we cannot do something because there is a superior power that not allows us to do it.

In a political conversation, it is used if your ideas are very liberal and there are other more conservative people who do not accept them and stop the development of your ideas. Those conservative people would be that superior power that does not let you develop them. Do you understand?

It has its origin in chapter IX of the second part of  the well know Spanish novel “Don Quijote de la Mancha”, where it literally says: "Con la iglesia hemos topado, Sancho". Don Quijote, thinking that he would arrive at the citadel in which his beloved Dulcinea was, came to find the Church of the village, although in the book they referred to the Church in a literal way, as the Church has always had a reputation for imposing strict criteria. moral and factual (of faith) is currently used to designate that brake that is imposed on our progress.

An example in your daily life could be that a student flatmate, very serious and conservative, does not allow you to put the music too loud during a dinner with friends; your partner would be that superior power that prevents you from developing an idea and you would say to him: "con la iglesia hemos topado".

It is not a very common expression for foreign students in Barcelona; it is rather a complex and difficult expression to know how to use correctly. That is why, if you manage to introduce it into your vocabulary, nobody will realize that you are a foreign student. But for this, you must not have an accent either!

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