warning: spending time in spain can cause severe loss of english skills

Friday, June 17, 2011

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when caroline and i lived in salzburg and spent so much time with the spanish boys, we noticed our english-speaking abilities took a turn for the worse; a very big, very bad turn for the worse. 

you see, the boys speak english and speak it well (relatively speaking), but…

well, anyone who speaks spanish should be familiar with the articles, “la, el” and “un(o), una”.  these articles translate, in a literal sense, to “the, the” and “one, one” respectively.  there is no direct translation for the article “a” and the boys, therefore, have never really mastered use of the article “a”. 

as a result of this, they say things like, “you are looking like one princess!” or, “we can eat one meal and then make one siesta” (oh, and in their version of the english, the verb ‘make’ can be interchanged with a surprisingly wide variety of other verbs).

caroline and i, during our most recent trip to spain, noticed that we had, once again, begun to sound nothing at all like native english speakers.

an example?

i was editing a video on my computer and caroline wanted a preview before i had applied the finishing touches.  i denied her request by saying, “no, i am making one suspense” to which she replied, “that is one annoying.  you are one make me mad”. 

after these fragmented sentences -- which we’d spoken so naturally – had fully registered with us, we looked at each other, horrified, and said, “oh, no… it’s happening again”.  

what’s funny is that, while this strange ‘spanish boy language’ may sound like nonsense to an outsider, the boys totally ‘got’ it.

during our hike, for instance, caroline and i noticed a cute boy sitting on a ledge outside the alhambra.  i commented to caroline, “i see one well-dressed individual!” and she added, “i see one ‘like’ ”.  sergio, having overheard us, turned around and said, “okay, okay, give me your camera, i’ll take a photo of you and the boy”.

DSC00598i see one well dressed individual. i see one like.

^^  caroline, me, and one ‘like’ ^^

19 comments:

Susanne said...

That´s funny to hear people who speak like the Google Translator.. not because they do not know the language but because in their mother language it would sound definitely better. I sometimes to the same, lol.

Plus everytime I spend a little more time speaking English, my Czech sounds pretty much more like Russian. Do not know why.

Magdalena Viktoria said...

hahaha, this post is great. Same thing happened to me...I started to speak a really low/strange level of English. I would say 'I go to the store now', instead of 'I'm going to the store'. Things like that.

good stuff.

Jenny in Ohio said...

haha...that made me lol, no joke.

Jan said...

Clever way of getting the 'boy' in the picture!!!

nova said...

I caught myself telling somebody they "had reason" after spending some time in Mexico, lol!

Ashlae said...

I NEED YOUR BANGS! How do you get them so full? Mine bangs are just a lifeless, little clump of hair, lately.

Lauren said...

you blog is great! I actually grew up in Germany and did my Abitur in 2006 but now I live in Texas and life is SO much different!! It's fun seeing all your pictures! I totally miss it there :( My family still lives there so maybe one of these days I can save up enough money and go back!! :)

Notes She Wrote

Gentri said...

hahaha! I love this. :) I can hardly speak english let alone 3 other languages.

tifsong said...

firstly,
you are really very pretty.

secondly.

language is a funny thing.

Alivia said...

Ahhh haha I feel your pain. We talked about it a few days ago, but oh my gosh it is funny once you realize what you said doesn't make sense to anyone around you. My parents were like "I thought you spoke English in Africa? Why can't I understand you now?!" Hah!

Mackenzie said...

bahahaha oh my lord, the end photo is one solid gold.

Danielle said...

hahaha I've noticed this a lot in south america! spanish speakers use "make" with everything. they're always saying, "do you want to make any questions?"

Lindsay said...

Just found your blog - love it! I'm your newest follower :)

This is too funny!!

Anonymous said...

yes, the "make" problem definitely applies to germans too!

xoxo jen

Eva @ Four Leaf Clover said...

Haha.. so funny/awesome! Sometimes, it makes you sound super proper!

lady lyles said...

you and caroline look like really sexy alien fighters.

like ones that fight aliens... not like you, yourself, look like an alien.......

okay?************

(oops)

kim said...

Hahaha, I never heard Spanglish before. I work at the HQ of an international company, because of the many different nationalities we all speak English to each other but a lot of us are Flemish. So we speak "Dutch-English" to annoy the British people sitting next to us, especially direct translations of proverbs are hilarious :D.

kylee said...

love that you got a picture with him. totally something i would want to do.

Anonymous said...

that's funny. did you know that hawai'i's pidgin (you know, da kine) includes a similar element--using 'one' instead of 'a'--taken from the portuguese influence in hawai'i? for example, "oh, she one tita, I bet she could kick my butt.”

:)