A disgruntled librarian packs it up and leaves fabulous New York City behind,
going on random adventures through South America,
while simultaneously promoting literacy
and spreading the love of the written word.

Monday, July 12, 2010

sho no entiendo nada

you may be wondering to yourself, "self ... how is miss dewey decimal's spanish coming along?  surely she has been in spanish speaking countries for almost 3 months now ... she must talking up a storm."

no.  that is not the case.

so the bolshevik and i took two weeks of intensive spanish courses in peru.  i took 4 hours a day, and the bolshevik took 6.  for TWO WEEKS!  and we were speaking pretty well in peru.  we understood a lot of what people were saying.

at one point i even had a conversation with my teacher about movies, and in order to stall her from giving me any boring exercises i proceeded to explain to her the entire plot of Shawshank Redemption.  in spanish!  then she told me about a movie staring a young kristie alley (she had no problem explaining to me that kristie alley is now muy gordo.  she couldn't remember the title, but after getting the details i was able to conclude it was actually this film starring sidney poitier, who apparently is not as famous in peru as kristie alley)

anyhoo ... point is, when we arrived in argentina we came to a rude awakening.  that awakening having to do with the fact that our spanish does in fact suck.  turns out, they speak really slowly in peru.  and they don't tend to use any flowery language.  it's all very basic and easy to understand.  but here, i can't understand a word anyone is saying.

for you spanglish speakers out there, i'm going to go on a little rant about argentine spanish (please note, once i am able to speak argentine spanish, i will stand firm that it is the proper spanish, and that spanish from spain is somehow incorrect) ...

first, i noticed a lot of people using the word sho ... sho this, sho that, sho blah blah blah.  eventually i asked someone, what is this sho?  turns out, sho is how they pronounce the word yo, which is probably the first spanish word i ever learned.  yup, i don't even know how to say the word for "i" in this crazy country.  pretty much any word with a y in it may or may not be pronounced as "sh."

then, i heard people saying stuff like eh-shos for ellospo-sho for pollo, cah-shay for calle, or cabasho for caballo.  when telling people where i live i have now become accustomed to saying veesha crespo instead of villa crespo.

this is not even to mention all the words that people are saying that i just don't know.  for instance, they don't use the word tu for "you."  instead they use the word vos.  they've also created this word called sos, which from what i gather is a form of "to be."  so someone might say, "vos sos?" when asking where you are from.  wtf?!  those aren't even words.

grrrrrrr.


and, in general, when people are speaking here they have this very melodic way of talking that is very sing-songy and involves a lot of hand gestures.  it kind of reminds me of the swedish chef from the muppets, if the swedish chef spoke spanish.



1 comment:

  1. well, at least you've figured this out... though I can see how it would be pretty frustrating.

    ReplyDelete