Sunday, August 16, 2009

The ultimate insult

One of the neighborhood boys dropped by today because he wanted to see our pool. I think our pool might be the only one on the street and it seems to be pretty popular with the kids. Anyway, the boy's name is Angel. He's six years old. He checked out the pool and then was petting the dog. As he kneeled next to Libbie, I asked him, "¿Qué crees de la piscina?" I thought I was asking "What do you think of the pool?"

His response? "No hablo ingles." In other words, lady your Spanish is so bad, I can't understand you. Ouch.

I rephrased my question. "¿Cuál es tu opinión de la piscina?" That must have clarified things a bit, because this time Angel responded, "Es bonita." It is pretty.

Still, ouch. At least he was honest.

I did look it up to see what I should have said. I mixed up my verbs -- I should have said "¿Qué piensas de la piscina?" So, I wasn't that far off. But my accent must have been pretty horrendous.


Fulton said...

his response was "es bonita" which means "it's pretty" right? that wasn't really an insult though right? maybe it was spanish sarcasm?

love hearing about the locals and the spanish conversations! i'll have to do some studying before we come.

Hillary Dickman said...

Yeah, his response was fine -- defintely not sarcasm. It was the "no hablo ingles" that was insulting! I didn't think my gringa accent was so bad that he needed to respond with "I don't speak English." I think it was maybe because I used the word "creer" (to believe) instead of "pensar" (to think). A subtle difference to us but apparently a big difference to him.

I'm now studying my well-worn copy of 501 Spanish Verbs to try to brush up on verb use, tenses and conjugations. Hopefully that will help a little in the future. I should have pulled it out six months ago, though!