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¿Hablas Español?

Sí y no.

Hablo un poco Español. But I wish it were more.

I just popped a bag of popcorn for the first time in a long time. I didn’t want to be that girl and make the fire alarms go off because I left it in too long, so I read the instructions to gauge the right amount of time. The only problem was the instructions were in Spanish. At least the ones in the back where instuctions normally are. I had to flip over the find the English directions.

Granted most packaging sold in the U.S. remains predominantly English, I have a feeling this transition toward bilingual packaging is definitely gaining popularity not losing it. Not that it’s a bad thing. As my sister, the Spanish teacher, is quick to inform me when I point out this trend, “In a decade there will be more Hispanic than European people in the U.S.”

It makes me wish I hadn’t been so zealous to end my Spanish training when I realized I could choose between math or a foreign language. What used to be pretty good when I graduated from high school is now pretty spotty. Although I still put up with my sister talking to me in Spanish when she doesn’t want other people to understand her comments, my own abilities in the language have deteroriated a lot. But, as I know she is right, I’m thinking I’ll be dusting off those “Learn Spanish” CDs she used to teach herself when she was in high school. ¿Por qué no?

4 Responses to “¿Hablas Español?”

  1. abs Says:

    si que bueno.

    (insert upside down exclamation point here)Viva el espanol!

  2. Brandiana Says:

    ¿Qué tal Mariana? Me gustó que escribieras un ensayo de este tema. Sí, tienes razón de lo que has dicho. El español es tan útil. Pero yo aprendí este otoño que no se puede adquirir otro idioma sin hablarlo diariamente. Como mi amigo Franki me ha contado anoche- después de no haber hablado conmigo por un mes entero- que mi español ha mejorado un monton (sí, un monton se una como una cantidad. También se usa una chinga como una cantidad- que como una habladora nativa de inglés casi no tiene sentido a mi). Lo importante de lo que te escribo aquí es decirte que he conocido a una chinga de gente hispana desde empezar mi empleo como maestra en Canton. Hay una gran población de gente hispana allí (y un monton de ellos muchachos jóvenes y guapos). Pues hay una relación entre haber hablado tanto con varias personas hispanas y me haber puesto en situaciones en que quizás pueda usar este español que me ha costado $36 mil dolares y siete años de estudiar. Lo que sé ahorita es que he aprendido el español REAL- lo que se usa en la vida diaria y en la calle. Todavía no uso varias palabras que las reservo más para el uso por muchachos pero los entiento muy bien y puedo defenderme si alguien quiere usarlas conmigo. Para enseñarte un poquito del español de la calle te enseño lo siguiente… Look in the English part for the new vocabulary.

    English Translation for los gringos. :)

    What’s up Meranda? I liked it that you wrote an article/essay about this topic. Yes… You are right about everything you said. Spanish is very useful. But I learned this fall that it is impossible to aquire another language without using it daily. Just like my friend Franki said to me last night- my Spanish has improved a mountain (literal translation for monton) (yes, a mountain is used as a quantity. They also use a F*** as a quantity- which as a native speaker of English really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense). The important part of what I’m trying to say is that I have met a chinga (literal translation of F***) of hispanic people since starting my job as a teacher in Canton. There is a big population of hispanic people there (and a mountain of them are young handsome hispanic men). Anyway, there is a correlation between having talked with so many people and having put myself in situations en which perhaps I could actually use this Spanish that has cost me $36 thousand dollars and 7 years of studying. What I do know right now is that I have recently learned the REAL Spanish- the one that’s used in daily life and in the street. I still don’t use quite a few words that I reserve for the young hispanic men but you bet I sure understand them just fine and can defend myself if someone would dare use them with me. Well to teach you some street Spanish I will teach you the following…

    cabrón= rascal but is more like f*er, echarse un palo= to have no strings attached sex, amigos con privilegios= f* buddies, feria= a fair and also cash, no mames= don’t f* around, no manches= don’t kid me like that, bendejo= a*hole, pinche= like stupid or f*ing and is used as a modifier of cabrón or bendejo, puñal= knife literally but is the worst slang term in méxico for fag, maricón= gay man, joto= somwhere between the politically correctness of maricón and incorrectness of puñal. I could go on and on but the last thing I want to say is that depending on where you go and who you talk to those words may or may not be used. That is just as important as anything else. For example, my El Salvadorian amigo hates it when I used no mames or chido (cool) because those are Mexican terms. He uses n’ombre to mean no man, however, my Mexican friends use no guey. I got yelled at last night for using traer (to bring) all the time to talk about picking up my El Salvadorian friend- he thinks llevar (to carry) would be better, however, when I talked to my Hondurian friend he said traer is the only word he would use for such action. Well, I must apologize to you for making the blog comment perhaps longer than the blog… But you must admit this will be quite a lesson to all. What I learned most is that when I wrote in Spanish first it was quite difficult to find the exact words in English to express the same feeling. Languages really just do not translate literally. I used some words in this English part that I technically didn’t use in the Spanish part but they served me better. That phrase, of course, is a literal translation from Spanish- served me better. I wouldn’t normally use that phrase in English. Well, happy learning and I will be glad to enseñarte lo que quieras! Te amo mi hermanita. Eres tan inteligente. Cuídate.

  3. Meranda Writes » Blog Archive » Family gatherings, conversation Says:

    […] The finer points of Spanish insults from Brandiann and my dad (who picked up some terminology during his stint many years ago driving cab in Southern California). Since you couldn’t be there, I’ll point you to the comment left by my sister a few weeks back. […]

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