Monday, April 23, 2018

They say that Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn

...but be careful or you might call the pope a potato (12:12).

Señor Wences's little friend used to say, "For you easy, for me difficult."


In the fifth grade I learned a sentence in Spanish, "Este es el gato" (This is the cat). It was the only thing I knew in Spanish for many years. One day when I was in my fifties a gang of us at work decided to go out to lunch at a Mexican restaurant. As we were being shown to our table, Paul (a temporary employee who was never offered a permanent position) called out loud enough for everyone in the place to hear,"Donde es las mujeres?" and every waiter turned to look at us. It was pretty embarrassing, and even more so when I learned that Paul was saying, "Where are the women?"

I had learned my second sentence in Spanish.

Paul was, how you say, a little loco in the cabeza.

But then, aren't we all?

I can also say "Good morning" in Albanian (Mirë mengjes), "Goodbye" in Japanese (Sayonara), "Thank you" in Portuguese (Obrigado), and "Where is the men's toilet?" in Swedish (Var finns der herrtoaletten?).

My passport expired in 1979. It's probably a good thing.

5 comments:

All Consuming said...

'In the fifth grade I learned a sentence in Spanish, "Este es el gato" (This is the cat)' - And so began the path of destiny that eventually led you to Snow. *falls about*. Glad to see you got the invite sweetie x

Graham Edwards said...

Having reasonable tourist French, German and Italian as a young man (largely forgotten now) I once arrived in Spain having taken the decision to go a day or so previous to my day of travel. So I arrived at my friends' in Menorca much to my mortification unable even to say 'Thank you'. So I used my Italian. Big mistake. Huge. I very quickly learned enough Spanish to get me through the next couple of weeks. In all I've only visited Spain four times in my life and only once (the first time) for a proper holiday.

Emma Springfield said...

You make me think of Jose Valverde who was the closing pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. Someone nicknamed him Papa Grande to call him Big Pope. It means Big Potato. It was a loving nickname from all the fans.

Elephant's Child said...

To my shame I have English (which I still haven't completely mastered), a very little French (learned at school decades ago) and a few words of Argentinean.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I am not very good with foreign languages so I am rather pleased that English is my first language. With English you can travel to far flung places and find it relatively easy to communicate. I am so glad that my first language isn't Greek or Portuguese for example.