Thursday, November 6, 2014

Just When I Thought My Spanish Was Improving...

I have been learning Spanish on and off for the past few years.  Between having to rely on the kindness of others in Guatemala this past summer and hopelessly trying to make close to forty unaccompanied minors feel welcome this school year, I vowed to take my Spanish studies more seriously.  I signed up for and have dedicated myself to watching Destinos. Feeling a bit over confident, I decided to ignore common sense and translate a field trip permission slip without checking every word over with someone who speaks the language fluently.

Needless to say, relying on Google Translate and my ever-expanding vocabulary was a terrible idea.

The permission slip that I attempted to translate explained to the parents that we are taking a field trip to a museum.  I attempted to use the verb tomando for taking. Unfortunately, I forgot to add the n and wrote tomado, which according to my Latin American students means to get drunk.  As the students read the permission slip, they began to cheer and get really excited.  Luckily, the students let me in on the excitement and agreed to help me correct the permission slip.   They were even good sports about handing back the permission slips as I can only imagine the problems I would have faced should a parent have read it and caught my error (they claimed that their parents already know that my language skills are a work in progress and probably would have laughed).

After I have an adult who is fluent in Spanish look over the new and improved permission slip, I will distribute it once again.  I'll also make sure to dedicate part of my weekend to my Spanish studies and chalk this one up as a memorable lesson learned.

No comments:

Post a Comment