I took 5 Spanish classes in high school. My final Spanish class was AP Spanish, where all the cool kids hung out. We even went to Spanish Camp that year, where for 5 straight days we were only allowed to speak Spanish (which meant that anyone caught whispering in a corner was actually speaking English). Fun fact: I met my date to the Senior Prom at said Spanish Camp. And yes, we did whisper in English in the corner. I even got to a point where I was dreaming in Spanish. How freaking cool is that? I was well on my way to becoming bilingual. Muy bilingue, muchachos.
And then college happened, and I took French. And then I went to the Netherlands and took Dutch from a Dutch woman who learned English in Ireland, so she had the weirdest/awesomest accent ever. As a result, when I try to speak another language, a garbled mix of Franish (Spanch?) slurs out.
And even though I live in an area filled with Spanish-speakers, and I work at an agency filled with Spanish speaking coworkers and clients, my Spanish skills have really slipped.
Estoy muy triste about that.
To prepare for our trip to Puerto Rico, Brian and I were boning up on key Spanish phrases using my handy google translate iphone app, where you can just speak your English phrase and hope it craps out some meaningful other language (and vice versa).
First I wanted to know how to say mosquito, because I plan to get bitten upwards of 50 times because I am so very deliciosa.
Turns out it’s a cognate. Go figure. With English-Spanish, when in doubt, always assume it’s a cognate. I wonder if the word cognate is an English-Spanish cognate? Cognato.
My translation app sure knows me well, for when I clearly said, “I would like a pet cat please,” (because I just assume, along with all the other feral and rabid animals roaming PR, that there will also be piles of alley cats for the taking) the app gave me this:
Goes to show that pronunciation means the difference between a mangey, furry feline and its shit.
This is going to be an interesting trip.
Wish me bon voyage! See y’all on the flipside.
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OMG! So funny! I missed that post! You want to know the French version for that cat poop thing? Je voudrais du caca de chat. ;o) Happy to help! ;o)
‘Poop’ in French is still “caca”??! LOVE IT. Thank you for that, it made my day.
Hilarious! Not sure if I would entirely trust that app, but I’m sure you’ll have an amazing trip regardless :-)
Thanks! I always try to be smarter than computer translators. And the trip was amazing!
I’m glad to hear it :-)
After taking Spanish in college, turns out I learned all I really needed by working in restaurants.
“Is for me, the knife!”
Make sure you don’t buy the cat poop til you get there – TSA might not let you bring it on the plane…
Ooh, good point. Crazy TSA.
You never know. You might find that you do want a pet cat poop when you get there, and now you know how to ask for it.
Thank you for reminding me to keep an open mind.
love your post!
by the way, i’m spanish and the word mosquito in spanish is mosquito as well. i’ve never heard “cognato” in my life…. I think your transaltion app is playing games with you! haha
Espero que tengas un fantástico viaje! :)
Thanks! “cognato” was a joke. Whether it’s correct or not is purely by chance. I like to live dangerously.