https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madeintampa

First time using my Spanish in real life

Yesterday I'm at the tire shop getting my tires replaced and a Spanish woman is on phone talking to what I presume is her significant other.

I would still consider myself a beginner at Spanish so I could only make out a few things as she was speaking quite fast. I wasn't trying to eavesdrop as much as I was just trying to listen to her conversation to see if I could understand it. (Practicing my Spanish)

Anyways, a man comes out to ask her which tires she wants and while her English is a little broken, you can tell she's trying hard to communicate with him. Her words were mostly translated right just her sentence structure was still in a Spanish format. Nonetheless, he should have been able to understand her. Instead, he ends up yelling, "I'm sorry, I can't understand you. I speak English."

I was a little upset because his tone or his words weren't necessary. I looked to her and said in Spanish, "I'm sorry, he is not nice. I will try to help."

Then said to him, "She's been saying she only needs one tire replaced on the front."

I confirmed with her in English, that it was her front left tire. Then they both left to go look at her car, I really kind of wanted to go with them but she's a smart woman and I don't think she needed a baby sitter.

All of my tires needed to be changed so I was there awhile. I never saw the woman come back in but the employee did. As I was checking out he asked me how I knew Spanish. I said, "I don't really know it fluently but I'm trying to learn on Duolingo. It's hard but I want to be able to communicate with more people."

He responded with, "That's cool." But not with the tone where he actually thought it was cool. So I said, "Yeah you should trying learning a second language, you'll have more respect for others who are bilingual." And he just gave me a smirk.

I went home and left a 4-star yelp review. I don't really believe in absolutely disgracing companies on Yelp because deep down someone probably worked hard to open that business and I don't like bad-mouthing them because of one employee. But I did briefly write about the exchange he had with the woman.

Anyways, I just wanted to say learning new languages on Duolingo has really given me a fond appreciation for people who are bi-lingual. It's hard work! And good for us for trying to learn a new skill.

September 4, 2019

64 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Stepping up and helping that woman was admirable. You went beyond what many people would consider doing, applying your knowledge with compassion in a difficult situation. Hopefully, the seed you planted with the worker will grow.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaisyRose2

Couldn't have said it better myself, Songve.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RangerOfTheNorth

No one can say it the way Songve always does.

And yes, I am jealous.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jane568703

I always thought that I had an above average level of compassion. Then I spent a couple of years in Japan. When I got back I was amazed at how much more compassionate I was toward people speaking English as a second language! It went from thinking, "Yes, I should be patient with these people because their English is pretty weak," to a real gut level sympathy for the struggle to express oneself in a foreign language! LOL!

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/logane616

Way to stand up! I hate it when people get mad at others for not speaking English very well. The woman was making an effort, which is the same thing all of us on Duolingo are doing.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madeintampa

Yes! I agree, you could see the effort, she kept trying to rephrase things and persist. It was admirable and overall I think she was quite comprehensible. I think if the roles were reversed I might have just given up and pulled out google translate.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdouardC2020

You are a great human being. I hope everything is going well in your life. You really deserve it. Blessings!

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madeintampa

That is a really nice thing to say. Genuinely. Thank you, I almost don't feel worthy of such a statement.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LordEragon05

This is the kind of post that should make it to popular.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kellye8498

I am so glad that you got to use your new knowledge to help her out. He seems like he thinks English is the only language which is sad. I have been trying to use my Spanish as well and got to use mine at a restaurant where the cashier didn’t speak much English and she kept asking me in Spanish to slow down. Whipped out some of my new skills and told her I speak little Spanish but I would try. She told me I am doing very good and she looked like she was a lot more comfortable than she was when I was speaking English. Knowledge is power <3

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David245706

This story made my day. The fact that you used your little Spanish to help is admirable, to say the least. Most people would have turned around and gone away. Congrats!

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mreaderclt

I'm glad you helped her out. I think you said and did all the right things.

I'm sorry that I have nothing to reward you with but lingots. :)

People in business, owner or staff, should respect all their customers, even the ones that don't speak flawless English.

The saying isn't "the customer is always right, if they speak perfect English."

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Brava! Talking is always the best.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TRUMP90311

wow! cool, I cant wait till I can use spanish

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

Great job!

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrayNathan

Which lesson taught you "front tire"? I have no idea how I am on level 21, but I do not know how to say front tire.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madeintampa

Haha I stated that she had already been saying she only needed her front tire replaced. She was saying it in English.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madeintampa

You're a little ahead of me though, so shout me out if you get to front tire before me. :)

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

"I confirmed with her in English, that it was her front left tire."

hth

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LordEragon05

Wow, awesome story.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonTrill

Great story

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cihan874933

i guess thats how a language should be used :)

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cartergraysons

Your very lucky, where I live I can't do anything like this, Keep Up the good work!!

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AllyBally7

You were very nice to step up for her! I am starting spanish, but am still not very good, keep it up!

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XANDRA_GRAF

thats awsome it really is!!

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brayden197640

Thats so nice of you. Nice that some people in this world can be this kind and respectful of others and the languages they speak. :)

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nashville.Fit

Its moments like this which bring a big smile to my face :) nice job!!

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jcragun

"You should trying learning a second language, you'll have more respect for others who are bilingual."

This is an understatement, to say the least. Thank you for your grace in helping this woman, and for promoting a more understanding world.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Javielucho

Excelente actitud! Te felicito. Sigue así.

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/misty589

yeah i've got mad respect for anyone who knows more than one language, it's difficult to do!!

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SirKrusty

That man was very rude and it was nice of you to stick up for her. Your the part of the reason God hasn't destroyed humanity yet.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaseyPasta

Thank you for helping out the community like this. The story was heartwarming. You're a little-bitty, adorable hero. Or big n' strong, whatever you like. Something bilinguals know is that placing focus on the meaning behind the words is extremely important, and that's what I'm counting on if I go back to a spanish-speaking country.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tintin_73

It was a noble thing that you did and you are an example to us all. Learning a new languages breaks down mental barriers between people. It makes one more understanding and empathetic I would like to believe.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MogensBech1

THANKS for your story! I am in Madrid using my spanish for the first time. DIVERTIDO!!

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soedori

Good job. Your username implies you're a Tampeño (I am as well). It's good to see the community stand up for each other here.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rla951

Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Madeintampa! I'm guessing your in or from the Tampa area, and there are many Spanish speakers there. I'm in Southwest Florida, Ft. Myers area, and we have many, many Spanish speakers here. I am so glad that I'm in such an area; many Spanish speakers help me, and I try to help Spanish speakers who are working to learn English. It is such wonderful experience, being able to communicate with others who speak a different language. Instead of a frustrated attitude of, "Speak English!," I prefer to have an attitude of, "I need to learn Spanish!"

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Benito990454

Hi, if you need any help to understand something or just a question, feel free to contact me. I'll love to help.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoanVaccaro

I agree! We should have an ear to understand people speaking English as a second language, since we hope to have that courtesy extended to us when we travel.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SavageKittah123

That is so cool. Just asking, did this actually happen, because it sounds like you are trying to impress people so they think you are "so cool" and "kind" and lots of other things that might not be true. Just saying.

September 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DarrenLeeD

¿Cuanto tiempo has aprendido?

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madeintampa

About three months ago? I'm still an early beginner but I'm eager to finish the tree and try some podcasts and Spanish TV shows.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DarrenLeeD

¡Guau, genial! You’re doing much better than me. I’ve been studying Spanish on Duolingo for 2 years and still don’t have the courage to speak it.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madeintampa

I live in Arizona and a lot of my good friends are native Spanish speakers so they've been helping me a lot to get comfortable with speaking it. One of their parents have overheard me though and laughed. So, for now, it is what it is. Best of luck with your Spanish! I'm sure you're doing better than you think.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chirful1

You're lucky to know people who can help you and practice speaking with. I think you can learn much faster by doing that. Great job on stepping up to help that lady.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karlov_the_2nd

wow thats amazing

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yonkers_Robbie

very cool story ... Im planning on knowing Spanish by the New Years or at least be able to navigate threw a conversation. So as your playing with the lessons do you do one lesson all the way through it or do you bounce around? just curious... I bounce around once I feel its getting repetitive but maybe its supposed to do that to drill it into your head!?

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madeintampa

I try not to bounce around too much, might just be an OCD thing though. It drives me nuts to have a bunch of incompleted lessons, I need them all gold lol. But I usually toggle between two until I complete them. The repetitiveness can definitely get annoying.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cesare976506

Way to go!

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arditiz

Bravo!

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kristi172761

What a wonderful story! What a way to step up and help.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevinDenis6

Nicely done.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luk400526

woow, that's awesome. Its always a beauty to to be able to speak and understand a second language

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lightningblizt

Wow! That's amazing! I hope I'll get to the stage where I can use my Japanese in a wholesome way like that. I mostly just use it to mess around with friends or to understand a bit of an anime or Vocalouid song without looking at the subs. Hope I can get to that level on day!

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Margotesca2

You handled this in such a kind and mature way. I hope your words will trickle into his consciousness--you did a good thing <3

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DawnBreaks

Well played.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charley334225

Great job Tampa! You exhibited one of the greatest reasons to learn a new language. Every gift you give comes back to you 10X. Not sure when you'll get your free tire, but here comes a lingot.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustusRobi3

Go for it! Practise Spanish (or any other language you may learn) whenever or in whatever venue you can. It was so good, helping someone who did not hav a good command of English. I hav done that, not only for Spanish-speakers, but also for speakers of Chinese and even French. I even once met a Portuguese-speaker who did not hav a good command of English; i addressed him in Spanish, and he understood. (That was before i started learning Portuguese.) (The notion that Portuguese-speakers will be offended if you address them in Spanish is largely a myth.)

It is a very fun and rewarding thing, learning a new language.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/r0UF1

muy bien

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dmortimors

Thank you, Tampa. I am also seeing how dificil it can be to learn another language and having some fun attempting to speak in Spanish. Am meeting nice people, too, and very helpful!

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelFlo527108

That was very kind of you. Y en Espanol! Good story.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pearlmini

Good job - it appears that you have learned quickly. I have been studying Spanish on Duolingo for a year. For some reason it's easier for me to read and translate than to speak. I keep at it just about every day because it's a beautiful language and eventually I will be more comfortable speaking. It took me at least two years to learn Italian.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LuisR131139

que bueno.

September 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YoongiSuga7

I find it amazing how being a beginner you were able to try your hardest and translate for her, nice job might I say!

September 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeamCVFY

talking to other people in other languages is so daunting. I'm learning pretty well but i always feel like I'm going to mess up.any sugestions on how not to feel so nervous?

September 9, 2019
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