How Not To Speak Spanish

This summer, my entire way of looking at the world is shifting. I’m studying Spanish. The course I’m taking through Johnson County Community College is intense and leaves little room for thinking about anything else, whether in Spanish or English.

The issue is, because I studied German when I was in college, my brain is resorting to German to try and help learn Spanish. When I read something in English and try and translate it to Spanish, my brain thinks it’s a good idea to translate it into German first. So now I have three languages running through my brain trying to make sense of one little sentence, and I end up not knowing which one is the right language to speak in. After intense studying, when my wife asks if I want to go for a walk or something simple like that, I end up replying “Spleteezzzzzz,” which translates to “????”.

Though I think that this is a good way to learn a language, it is certainly not making it easy for me to think clearly.

As a public service, I thought I would offer you a list of things that I have said this summer that should never be uttered in Spanish. Thankfully my wife is a patient person and corrects me with kindness, but she finds them humorous nonetheless.

1) No quiero tener el deseo de querer trabajar – I don’t want to have the desire to want to work (I was trying to say “I don’t want to work” — No quiero trabajar)

2) Yo no tengo gallinas – I don’t have chickens (I was trying to say “I don’t want to.” I tried to say “desire” which is “ganas” but I mispronounced “gallinas.”)

3) El cielo está llorando – The sky is full of crying ( I was trying to say “The sky is full of clouds” — El cielo está nublado)

4) Ir a comer el carro – Go to eat the car (I was trying to say “Go catch the car” — Ir a coger el carro)

5) Me toma la guitarra – I take the guitar (I was trying to say “I play the guitar” — Yo toco la guitarra)

6) Es su culpa que el gato está en el dolor – It is your fault that the cat is in pain. (Okay, this one is right. I meant to say this, and did say it to my kids because, well, that is self-explanatory)

To anyone trying to learn a new language – don’t worry about doing it wrong, just be prepared to be mocked by native speakers. Also, to anyone who has tried to talk to me this summer, I’m sorry. I hope this explains the dazed look in my eyes.


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Posted by admin on Jul 20 2011. Filed under Jeremy Gulley, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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