Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tostones or Patacones?

When someone asks me if I speak Spanish I always say "Yes, but...." or "Sí, pero...." . I have spoken Spanish now for 30+ years and still put the "but" in there, as I know I have a US accent and make grammar mistakes. However, I also have other problems since I started traveling with my husband on his teaching trips. There is a variety of accent and vocabulary differences between areas of countries, but even more so between countries. For instance, what we called "patacones" ( a delicious snack made by frying and smashing and refrying plantains) in Colombia are called "tostones" in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. To top it off, if I can't catch what is said to me I respond with "¿mande?" which is only used in Mexico to ask for clarification. Then I often get a look like "are you sure you speak Spanish?" and I start to wonder myself if I do.

(posted by Marlene)

1 comment:

Shyla said...

I know just what you mean! We adopted our daughters from Colombia 4 years ago. I got about 1/2 way through The Complete Idiot's Guide to Spanish (I highly recommend it), so I had a strong enough grasp of the language to get by with it for a few months with my children. Then I had to teach them English so our Spanish is lost. We'll renew it this year (homeschoolers here), but I completely identify with your "Si, pero..." (Add to it all a trip to Italy and my attempts to tackle Italian... I'm a mess! ;D)

God bless!