Tuesday, July 12, 2011


     Just shoot me for not learning Spanish. The best beaches are in Latin countries and the food is better so it’s a shame I blunder through a menu like a mentally challenged chimpanzee. I held a yard sale last Saturday in Los Angeles and it would have been a lot more rewarding to be able to speak Spanish. I love how the language sounds, but trying to roll an ‘r’ gives me an instant speech defect, like having a mouth full of wet sand. Bargaining in Spanish was out of the question. I would love to understand what the majority of people in California are saying as well as order something besides tacos. Does anyone know the best way to learn a new language? I want it to be easy, like putting a text book under my pillow so my brain will absorb it while I’m sleeping. Only I believe dogs will speak English before that will work so please make practical suggestions.
     During the many years I lived in American Samoa I didn’t have a clue what people were saying half the time. I smiled and nodded a lot, but for all I knew I agreed to give them my car and put their kids through college. There was an upside to living in the dark, verbally that is. I asked a woman to translate for me while we were practicing for an outrigger canoe race.  I enjoyed the endless laughter and asked her what the guys in the boat were saying. “Sure, I can tell you”, she said. What followed for the next twenty minutes was a stream of potty talk I could not have made up. “Okay, so the guy up front said he just peed in the boat and it was going to run back on our feet, then the guy behind you said the guy up front had to pee in the boat cause his dick’s not long enough to hang over the side, then another guy said he already got even cause he peed in everyone’s water bottle”. I checked my water bottle, it looked clear but I didn’t touch it anyway. I never asked again and blissfully went through my days enjoying the gentle sound of the language without being privy to the meaning. It was heaven, but I still guarded my water bottle. 
      Once again I find myself wanting to know what’s being said. I want to learn and not just swear words, which for some reason are incredibly easy to remember and often get a laugh so they are sorely tempting to use. I might not make quality friends though. Is there a language injection? Or an IV drip since I don’t seem to pick things up very fast? I recently discovered that the Playboy channel has the option of Spanish subtitles, but so far all I picked up was No, No, No (long sigh) Si, Si, Si. Not much help in normal conversation.    


1 comment:

  1. Catherine - Funny! Very funny! I will check around for ways to learn Spanish. I would like to learn too. I know a friend of mine and his wife went to a one or two week "camp" to learn Spanish and they thought it was great. Keep writing!