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

No es mi culpa

This is just a part of the statement I made in Spanish today playfully to a customer. I work at Guess and we are having a promotion currently where the jeans cost $35 each. I was doing the cashier and I got to ring up a Spanish-speaking women who took one. When I rung it up though, it rang incorrectly as $39 plus tax so around $41. The lady was stunned and told me in Spanish that it was wrong.

I for myself decided to go check because from my previous knowledge there were jeans that cost $39, but it turns out it was really $35. On my way back, I had to call a manager to change the price and while walking back, I jokingly said “La maquina es equivocada, no es mi culpa”. After saying that I heard a chuckle from the women as she was behind me.

When we met back at the register, she told me that I spoke Spanish very well. She asked me where I learned Spanish and I told her in Spanish that “Tomo clases en mi escuela, y tengo muchos amigos espanoles” (because majority of my coworkers mainly speak Spanish). Not sure what she said after but I then told her that “ Tambien aprendeo con duolingo”. She replied saying that she used duolingo as well, which I then asked her “¿Usted usa duolingo a veces”?

She replied that she did and I told her that it was “muy facil y divertido”. She told me again that I spoke very well and I said thank you and she went on her way. I have been having many similar interactions with Spanish speaking customers as lately, and while I do stutter, I am actively using the Spanish I have learned in this app and I’m glad it’s working. Just wanted to share this particular situation with you all on my language journey. Thanks Duolingo

November 24, 2019

55 Comments


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

I love stories like this. I live in the Northern regions of the United States, in the New England area. Spanish is not that prevalent there, French is more predominant. In the Southern areas of the U.S, Spanish is really common there.


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

Yeah, the further south you go, the more Spanish speakers you will find. Personally, I think that over time French will decrease in the US, maybe even in Canada. Why? Because both countries are far away from other countries that speak French, whereas the US borders Mexico, has a Spanish speaking territory, and the rest of the two continents are predominantly Spanish speakers.


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

I'd say you're likely right about Canadian provinces outside Quebec, but French in Quebec isn't going to decline much any time soon (as in, the next 50 years). They're protective of French, and Quebec is actually more solidly French speaking now than it was 50 years ago. The majority of the population (last I heard, about 2/3s) still doesn't speak English, though bilingualism is rising. It's pretty secure, all things considered.


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

Ok, just my guess. And as someone who has zero clue about politics, demographically growth trends, and has never been to Canada, I’m not terrible off, am I? I only based that out of the fact of who borders who. I might be 100% wrong.


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

It was a good guess, yeah. The decline of minority languages inside of a country is really common if they don't have some solid way of maintaining them - most common is a constant influx of new native speaker immigrants. Outside that, you usually need media support, government/educational support, and the support of the people who speak it to solidly maintain it. Quebec has all of that for French, but French in the USA generally doesn't, especially in places like Maine.


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

Thanks. Yeah, an influx of Spanish speakers is definenely happening here. Hospitals(some big ones), some of the government, and schools have Spanish. Yeah, but that makes sense. Seems like the US has everything needed to keep the language use at a steady, if not increasing , rate.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreas83

It's hard to keep a language alive alongside a predominant language.


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

Very true. I was living in Italy and swore I'd always speak English with my boys, but when they come and tell you things in Italian it's more natural to answer in the same language. Result? The first-born (who stayed in Italy) has a strong Italian accent, and makes grammatical errors in English.


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

There are areas in the US, or so I hear, where Spanish is mostly spoken. Would those places probably stay predominantly Spanish speaking areas? Would those areas spread out, eventually creating a decently large area(several cities, at least) where Spanish is mostly spoken? Just asking for opinions.


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

Hello fellow New Englander!! You are absolutely right. I traveled from Southern Mass to Vermont over Columbus Day weekend. Getting up closer to Canada! Lots more French. I come from a heavily Portuguese area, so that's my reality :)


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

Wow, interesting to know. I'm in Seattle and running into Spanish speakers isn't uncommon here. Running into people speaking French is. I mean people who speak these languages as their primary language.


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

Well done you, the more you talk, the better it will get. Thanks for giving us a good story!


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

It’s definitely becoming second nature day by day


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

Good for you ! Keep on getting better every day.
Practice in the real world is invaluable.


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

It sure is, many chances to have some incredible experiences


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

You did good to not be afraid to speak your Spanish. Most people are happy when someone tries to speak to them in their language, and they are not about finding fault.
I also live in Florida and there is never a lack of people to practice my Spanish with.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eliana.marr

Great job! I’m too shy to speak Spanish to strangers most of the time cause I’m always afraid I’ll mess up but sometimes I eavesdrop and I’m like “hey I actually understand this” lol. For now though my sisters will just have to listen to me rant in Spanish


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

well i'm from spain, if you want to practice we could talk sometime


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

The jeans were only $35? Where do you live again?


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

My mind was going to say that’s a bit expensive, but I haven’t seen the price of jeans in a while.


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

I guess with the exchange rate in our country, it works out to be about $70 here. Jeans are usually at least $100+ So I guess they really were on special.....


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

About half the world away....⚪


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Harold172355

Great story! Lingots for you!


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

¡Muy bien hecho!

I had a similar experience...but in French. Here in the warm and tropical Caribbean we don't get many Spanish-speakers. But you handled yourself so well. That must've been such an experience! Keep it up....I can't wait to here the next one!


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

That’s cool, I have learned a bit of French, but only cause I’m waiting for Haitian Creole to drop.


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

Felicidades, me encanta que la gente que sepa ingles se interese por el espanol u otro idioma. Espero que aprendas muy rapido, hay un cannal llamado superholly de una gringa que domina perfectamente el espanol.


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

Disculpe, yo no comprendo que dice usted. "Un cannal"--es que los cannales tienen nombres en su pais? Y yo entiendo correctamente que lleva el nombre de alguien que habal espanol? Gracias por el aliento.


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

perdon, quise decir canal, canal de youtube (disculpas por tipear una n extra)


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

Aha, y tambien "Doh!" (un frase que decimos en los estados unidos cuando nos dimos cuenta de algo que deberíamos haber sabido, from the Simpsons) :-) Hoy Aprendi! Gracias!


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

Gracias, voy a mirar unos videos de ella pronto


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

You probably helped to put her at ease more than you realized. Imagine her leaving everything she knows, being brave, coming to a new place, working on the language, and receiving the negative portrayal and attitudes that we all wish we could counteract. Folks like you who reach out with the warmth of some familiar words are the people I'm proud to call my countrymen and countrywomen. Wanna give you some lingots!


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

Great job!! I love these fun success and progress stories!! And what a sweet interaction, too. Thanks for the motivation/inspiration boost. I can't wait to use my language skills in the real world someday, hopefully soon. Keep up the fantastic work!!


[deactivated user]

    Good job dear, that's very rewarding to know. Here's a lingot for you


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Huevos-Rancheros

    Thanks for the story. Very encouraging!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr.Krassinski

    Should be " La máquina está equivocada, no es culpa mía." Nice story!


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

    I had figured the first part, but it still flew out wrong anyway, but thank you for the correction


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

    Yo puedeo aprendeo con Duolingou.

    Kudos to you bro, nice to know you're getting to use your lang already.

    But srs question, how come she spoke in Spanish with you at the phone? are there in Oregon or the us bilingual customer service, biligual stores?


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

    It wasn’t over the phone, it was in person at the cash register, in Orlando there are many tourists from South America


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

    Ah, srry I misread, my bad. I asked because of the Spanish speaking residents thay might be having influence on US serices.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacquelynJ537466

    Aren't there also a lot of Puerto Ricans in Orlando, too? Didn't a lot of them move to Florida after the hurricanes?


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

    In Oregon just like in Washington and California, there are plenty of people who will speak Spanish because they don't know English or don't speak English well. My mom used to get angry at these people when she worked in a store and I had to explain a whole lot of immigrants didn't have the luxury of learning English before they came. They are often fleeing violence and often come from poverty there to safer poverty here. Most people who haven't been to so much as Europe don't know there is a massive difference between the value of a dollar and what countries even call "poverty." And, of course the author of this thread was speaking about Orlando.


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

    Nice story! I would say 'la culpa es mia' always. I always try to talk the native language when an opportunity comes up. When this happens often enough, I feel that my languages skills improve.


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

    An example - I spent some time at a Dominican Republic resort. I met extremely nice couple from Quebec and they had very hard time speaking English. I used all my French knowledge and they used theirs English knowledge likewise. The end of the story - it is very nice to know other languages!


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

    It really is, your making connections with people you would’ve probably never had if it wasn’t for you learning the language


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

    Since I have been using the Spanish app, it has given me confidence to speak to my patients and mother in law. She tells my husband that she can understand me clearer. I owe that to the app!


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

    Here is a minor correction. It should be "La maquina esta equivocada." (Please ignore the missing accent marks)

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