Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Favorite Words in Spanish

I am still so new to this language and no I have not been studying the way I should because there is so much work to do. But I've gotten to the point where I can make very very very small talk with waiters and taxi drivers as long as it's in the present tense.

I have some favorite words. They are favorites because they are a joy to hear just for the sound.

1. cachai (I have no idea if this is the correct spelling) This is not spanish but Chilean and it means "You know?" I love the texture of the sound. It is sharp and brittle. I also love that it is Chilean.

2. mira = look. I hear this all the time during the day. "Mira, the warehouse screwed up." "Mira, there are only so many hours in a day." Mira, I love to hear this word.

3. entonces = then. Every time I hear this word I think of Toonces the Driving Cat from Saturday Night Live. Not pronounced the same but still that's what I think of. One day Eduardo had his four year old daughter on the phone and he pulled me over and put her on speaker and she was going on and on about blah blah blah entonces blah blah blah entonces blah blah blah. It was so obvious that she was telling him a plot. When he hung up he told me she was telling him about a cartoon she had just watched!

4. OK this isn't a specific word but in many cases, at least here in Chile, the "s" is not pronounced in words. Like buenos dias is "buen dia." Gracias is "gracia." Esta becomes "ta."

5. ayer = tomorrow. I can't use this because I only know the few things I know in the present tense and so I would say things like "Tomorrow I am hungry" or "tomorrow I am tired." But it sounds so pretty to hear it spoken.

I far prefer the Chilean dialect to the Mexican dialect. The Mexican dialect makes my brain shut down. The Chilean dialect makes me want to listen. I can't tell you why but there is a huge difference.

I find that every day I pick up more and more and every day I am more willing to make a total ass of myself and try to use it. Like tonight I was kind of making very very very tiny conversation with a waiter and he asked me how long I had been here and I couldn't remember the word for January (Enero) so I said since the first month of the year. I don't think I said "since" right but he knew what I meant.

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