Monday, April 4, 2011

I know Sofia Vergara!!!

Not really, but having a close friend who learned English as a second language in your life is fantastic as it is frustrating.

First, let me backtrack... I'm not talking about some 'fresh-off-the-boat-still-has-rice-patty-in-their-hair' broken Engrish.  That's absolutely uncharming.  If that seems racist, well, it sort of is.  But, please direct your attention to the picture on the right.  This is just one language barrier that I cannot break through.  It is rearry hard!

Anyway, my friend is Columbian and with the exception of the astonishing beauty and social refinement, he is pretty much the male version of Gloria from Modern Family. He even claims to be from Barranquilla!




Deciphering his abuse of the English language (be it via facebook update, text message, etc) is an exercise in problem solving, intense utilization of context clues, and when all else fails, a shot in the dark guess. I can't decide if it has made my knowledge of English stronger or damaged it severely...

I have tried to 'walk a mile' in his zapatos and learn a bit of Spanish. But he only teaches me swear words and some of the most inappropriate phrases I've ever heard in ANY language. If I were to try and use any of what I have learned from him in ANY Spanish speaking country, I would most likely either end up shot in the face or center stage at a donkey show...

SIDE NOTE: When taking Spanish, my teachers would always tell me to watch Telemundo to hear and learn more Spanish. Apparently this works the other way around, except my friend doesn't learn the language. It has more of a behavioral 'monkey-see, monkey-do' effect. We were watching this episode of 30 Rock and there was a scene where people kept throwing wine in each others' faces. Not 15 minutes later, during an argument, he threw a glass of water at my face...

This past Friday, April Fools Day, I learned that in Latin culture it isn't enough to just 'fool' someone with a harmless prank. In Columbia, 'El Innocente' a la Modern Family is about terrifying/upsetting people... Or at least trying to...


Unfortunately, I was dumb enough to believe it when he told me our friend TJ was in a wreck, because TJ is a hot mess...

In his defense, even with his occasional errors, inability to modify a noun, and cultural idiosyncrasies, he probably maintains a better grasp of our language than a majority of America. That's either a great nod it his intellect or a devastating blow to the average American...

PS - If you are ever around a Columbian, be forewarned that if they ever use the phrase "Ahiii!" It can either be an expression of happy excitement, an alcohol-fueled mating call, or a rage-filled declaration that you are about to get physically assaulted... or it is hungry. Again, I can't stress context clues enough!

3 comments:

Edgardo said...

Im so delighted that you dedicated one of your blogs to me! Im glad that I can entrtain you with my abussive use of the english language.

In my defense I believe that I just have a problems with speech in any language! Yeah as unflattering that sounds, I can remember my mother asking me when I was growing up what words did I just uttered.

I also came to discover from my mom that I was a late talker. Most babies start speaking at age one or two. I started talking when I was four.

Anyways, my excuse has always been, that I have a sever case of ADD and also think eextremely fast, faster than I can verbalized my thoughts.

John said...

Edgardo - Thank you for validating my point and proving that I don't make this stuff up. I don't even have the time to correct the grammar in the comment. But, as much as I love you, I don't think thinking extremely fast is your problem... BESOS!

Gina said...

Comments = best part of this post.