Friday, February 24, 2012

Gracias, Mami!

The counter guy at the corner deli said, "Gracias, mami" to me this morning and I was hooked on trying to speak a little Spanish, a language I've never learned.

I have been totally inspired by Benny the Irish Polyglot who reminded me that no one ever feels "ready" to speak a language, but that you just have to do it!  Korean was my first language and I have been learning Portuguese for six years.  Yet...I NEVER speak the languages.  I live in New York.  Hello!  I go into Korean delis all the time.  The drycleaners are Korean!  I hear Portuguese all around me.  I love languages and I live in New York, where foreign languages are all around me. 

A week ago, I decided to speak foreign languages whenever I can.  The first place I tried it with was at El Gran Castillo del Jagua, where Rob and I went to get Cuban sandwiches.  OK, let me say that I have never studied Spanish.  Yes, I've studied Portuguese and there are some similarities, but it's still an entirely different language.  I walked in, said buenos dias and said, quiero uno cubano.  The guy was really nice to me and said some stuff back in Spanish, which was fun.  When we left, I was like, yeah, just trying to speak made that transaction so much more an experience than ordering a sandwich.  And I feel like it'll be good for Greyson to witness stuff like that.  Like, it's ok to try and fun and other languages are not a big deal.

Today, I ordered a bagel at a diner around the corner.  The last time I went in there, I wanted to try Spanish, but I got too shy and didn't.  I beat myself up for that because who cares?  Why is it so hard?  So, today, I said buenos dias!  The guy behind the counter said, Buenos dias, como estás?"  I said, muy bien...e tu?  I don't even know if it's "tu" but I saw Y tu mama tambien and so, "tu"was in my head (later I remembered that tu is "your," not you.).  So, the counter guy said bien and what I guess asked me what I'd like.  I said, "quiero uno bagel con butter. (I was going to say manteiga, which is butter in Portuguese)" He said, ok, mantegaya...tostado?  And I said, si, tostado!  I then, asked, como se habla, I'll be right back (I was going to walk Rob to the subway station a few steps away and come back).  He said whatever it was and I didn't hear him, but I thought, oh, I'll have to look it up later.  Anyway, when I came back, the guy gave me my bagel and I said gracias and he said, gracias mami...bon dia or something.  I left smiling because it was so fun communicating in another language.

Not only was it fun, but now I know how to say butter and I will look up how to say, I'll be right back and remember it.  You don't have to be in school to is all around us!  (OK, I'm a nerd.)


  1. ahahahaha I love you, nerdie! :)

    1. I know...I am the biggest nerd on earth! O maior nerd dessa planeta! Também te amooooo! Beijos!