Learning a language is amazing!
Imagine this: Delicious food, loud music, dancing cumbia and 100% Spanish spoken. We dance we laugh and we get some delicious food and then to my horror! We do not have a fork!
After a couple of encouraging words (or demanding ;) ). My girlfriend forces me to go and get some
Hola senorita, tienes un tenedor, por favor?
And guess what, she gives me a fork! I have never been so happy with so little! I could have kissed the girl!
It's funny how much those little successes can mean. I was recently excited to recognized the Vietnamese term "bánh mì" as "bread" in the new Halloween movie, and when I recognized the Russian word "сыр (syr)" in the movie Coraline as "cheese" from its similarity to the Polish "ser."
Forks are good.
We were in Pointe-à-pitre over the summer and we had stopped at a KFC and got a huge bucket o' Chicken and sides and took it to the table, and I realized we had no sporks. I couldn't find them anywhere. Neither my wife nor I nor my son knew how to say spork in French, so I just asked the woman working there for a fork. Avez-vous des forchettes? To my surprise, she gave me actual forks. Plastic, but forks anyway, not sporks. And then she asked me if I wanted spoons as well. vous voulez une cuillère? how delightful. Forks and spoons at KFC! Who knew?
haha. Thanks. You'd think the people who invented the word portmanteau would have one for spork.
You gave me an idea. I googled "qu'est-ce que c'est une spork?" and got some articles in French that use spork in quotes (well, those weird guillemet things that pass for quotation marks in French). So I guess they call it a spork as well. After more searching, I found that the Académie française has not taken a position, but some writers are using "sporque." la sporque, by the way. The reasoning is as follows: "Malheureusement, une traduction française littérale du terme (qui est une contraction de spoon et de fork) nous forcerait à parler de «fourchière» ou de «cuillette», ce qui serait assez peu convaincant. C'est pourquoi nous utiliserons le terme anglais"
I also looked up "que es una spork?" and found that some outlets are using "cuchador." As far as I could determine, the RAE has no official position on that so far.
While I haven't been able to interact with someone just yet, I have been able to understand a conversation in Spanish, well at least part of it. while getting a soda at a gas station, a woman walks in and begins to speak in Spanish to the woman behind the counter. I listened carefully, and actually heard the one woman ask the other about her grandmother, and found out she is sick, and feeling tired all the time.. to be able to understand even something as simple as this, blew me away! I have been working hard as I can to learn, and my daily lessons are actually paying off! I seriously can't wait to see where I am in another 3 months of learning..
I had a moment like this a few summers ago, when I had just finished the first year of my real-life high school Spanish class. I was at the beach, trying to find a starfish that I had seen being tossed around by the surf. Suddenly, I see that a lady has found it, so I approach her and ask if I could take a quick look at it. I ask, but she apologetically tells me that she doesn't speak much English. So since I live in an area with a huge Hispanic population, I take a gamble and ask her ¿Habla usted el español? She responds sí, so I try again in Spanish (¿Puedo ver esta...)
I didn't know the word for starfish at the time, so I just kind of pointed and ad-libbed. But she told me it was estrella del mar, literally sea star, so I learned a new word from some random lady at the beach, as well as had my first ever real life Spanish conversation!