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Orale a day…

12 June 2007

I’m starting to speak a lot more Spanish lately… mostly because Tristan downstairs keeps going back and forth between English and Spanish. It depends on whether he spent the day at Granny’s or Abuela’s … and, as a three-year old, he’s somewhat tolerant of my verbal gaffes.

At least as a “visible gringo”, most Mexicans are happy that I can at least roll my “rrrr-s” and say a few coherent phrases in the present tense. Poor Al Carlos Hernadez — he’s one of “those” Latinos… that is a native of the United States. Like anyone else educated in gringolandia, he is essentially monolingual. But, he’s learning:

I have mastered a technique that has proven useful when I find myself in the position of listening to a person who is talking to me in Spanish; the rules are simple. First of all they want to talk and really don’t care of what you have to say because as a Pocho, you are somehow genetically inferior. So, all you have to do is smile at the appropriate times, and shake your head in dismay during the ay, yi, yi’s…



A well timed “Orale” after a happy phrase, or a strategic “Hijole”, after a distressing paragraph can go a long way, and may win you a free beverage. When you need to end a conversation, a “Bueno Pues”, in concert with some I have to go to the bano body language can usually extricate you from a one way conversation. Be careful, if you overstate your case they may go the bathroom with you.



I really wish I could converse in Spanish but there is too much pressure. If you take an adult class as a Latino they will expect straight A’s and think that you are there to pick up women. You can’t practice on native speakers because they will clown you and player hate you because you drive a German luxury car.



Recently, I’ve realized that I have reached a point in my social career where I can understand about 70% of what someone is saying to me in the mother tongue, if I can watch their lips, and since many Latino’s have big lips, this has made my job easier. I have been able to layout several sentences together and have received in-kind reciprocal response.



They just now think I am shy.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Steve Kudlak permalink
    2 December 2007 12:30 am

    Well since you twisted my arm with a prefilled form yeah I will comment. It is funny Mexicans from Mexico are happy I can speak a bit of Spanish and can do some stuff. My friendly ex-net-door-chicas find it kind of weird. But even a bit has started mixed consversations that got me some level of female companionship.

    Often people want to communicate with oneself and will go pretty far to meet you. Curiously the chicas who think I am so strange in some ways seem to be the ones who accept me the most and think I am part of their universe and group even though I portray myself as a literal alien.

    Have Fun,
    Sends Steve

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