Monday, September 6, 2010

On Language Recall

I went out today to look for signs that someone nearby has lost the kitten which recently showed up, literally, on our doorstep. I found none. So she's ours now. Awesome.

But what I did find was a family of deer grazing on somebody's backyard shrubbery in the middle of the day. Also, a generic Latino family having a barbecue. I thought about asking them if they'd misplaced a kitten, but they were all busy having a good time. The closest guy was on the phone, turned away from me, in fact.

But I wondered, if it came to it, could I ask them in Spanish? My Spanish is terrible. I mean truly, frighteningly bad. If it is of any importance, if it would not be completely useless, I cannot say it. Ask for holy water to put out a cow fire in my pants? Sure. Not a problem. But something simple? Screwed. Royally. "Tan que el rey." Pretty sure that meant, "As the king." You get the idea.

But I thought to myself. Quickly, so as not to over think it. "¿Te buscando para un gato pequeño? ¿Todo negro, pero con blanca aquí?"

Holy crap, that wasn't terrible. Granted, that was a grammatical nightmare, but it could have been far worse. The last time a Spanish guy asked if I could speak Spanish, not only did I forget the word for "a little," but I forgot the word for "no."

I'll give you a hint. It's "no."

So I can talk about cats, still. At least if I ever get stuck in Spain I'll always be able to order Chinese food.

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