I’ve been having a lot of fun lately trying to integrate Spanish more into my life. And sometimes that comes with some funny stories.
I decided to try this app called Tandem. Basically, you get to message and Skype people from all around the world who are trying to learn different languages. Normally, I shy away from this type of futuristic technology, but this one felt very well-regulated.
This evening, I was talking with a 17-year-old girl from Mexico, named Jacki. For the most part, things ran pretty smoothly. She only knows a small amount of English, and I know a fair amount of Spanish. I helped her with pronunciation of specific English words (I think for a homework assignment), but other than that, we talked entirely in Spanish.
We had a system set up, where she would give me a word in Spanish, and I would help her pronounce it in English. She had given me several words which looked like they belonged to a recipe. Cookie, milk, put, pour, mix, milk, etc. Then she asked me the word “pavera.” I had no idea what she was saying, so I looked it up on google, which came up with this:
I started laughing really hard, but as she sat there in her confusion, I realized I had to explain what I was laughing about. I started rambling, which sounded something like this: “Ummm… se dice que una pavera es una persona que pone dos pavos juntos… y…. *giggle* ellos hacen bebes”. (Umm… it says that a pavera is a person that puts two turkeys together… and… they make babies.)
Turns out pavera also means pie tin.
A little more serious, a little more spiritual now.
Josh and I came up with a system of daily scripture reading together to help with the Spanish integration. Each night, we pull out the Book of Mormon both in Spanish and in English. First one of us will read a verse in Spanish, then try to translate it. If we get stuck on a word, we can reference the English Book of Mormon. We switch off every verse. I’ve really enjoyed this system. We don’t get through very quickly (we just finished 1 Nephi chapter 2), but I’m finding a lot more meaning when I’m focusing word-by-word. There are certain phrases that I’ve seen so much that they no longer have much meaning to me. Reading in Spanish has changed that.
If you’re looking for help in learning another language, I would highly suggest these ideas! Let me know if you’ve got any other tips, and especially if you have any funny stories!