Prior to moving to Chetumal
How do you say “I am 48 and learning a new language.” In Spanish?
My first meeting with the Spanish Teacher established that I knew quite a few words, which made me proud. My pronunciation and grammar were, let’s say, not as good as the 3 year old who lives in the house behind us. I am unlearning all the bad Spanish grammar and pronunciation taught to me by Bigness so that people won’t laugh (and call me an idiot to my face) or get that puzzled look on their face which tells me “we think she is saying Spanish words, but what are they?” Bigness thinks my Spanish is already good enough, all he has to do now is to teach me the curse words.
My one saving grace is that I don’t care how stupid I sound. No, really, I don’t. And when I get real frustrated I revert to English, which has a startling effect on sales personnel (especially when I use the phase “No speaky Spanish” and turn my palms up). A couple of times the have answered me in English. And I wonder why they couldn’t have put me out of my misery a little sooner.
I came here with some misconceptions. I assumed I would start out asking questions in my mush mouth Spanish and invariably I would get an answer in English. I assumed that if the clerk didn’t understand me, he or she would find someone to interpret. I think every foreign country should be this nice when dealing with egotistical English speakers. NOT SO. Big new to me: in
So now Bigness and I play a game when we are out shopping. I do all the talking – in SPANISH. And I only talk to him in ENGLISH and I act as a mentally challenegged interpreter for him. He lets me know how close I am to understanding what they are really saying. I get more respect that way, no one clicking their teeth at me. I would like to think it is because my Spanish is improving, but down deep I know it is because my ham fisted 6 foot 4 inch husband is so scary looking. I make excuses for myself trying to joke in Spanish and explain to the unsuspecting taxi driver or store clerk that my school for spanish is the telenovella (Spanish soap opera), it sometimes gets a chuckle, but most of the time I get a worried look.