Foreign language errors. We all make 'em. I still am making them! It's all a part of learning the lingo. Recently, I just cannot get it into my head to ask correctly for a pound of chicken (in weight). Instead, I ask for a book of chicken. (WHAT?!)
Pound - libra
Book - libro
As I very rapidly walk away from the chicken seller upon buying my book of chicken, I mean, pound of chicken, one memory keeps coming back; a particular ocassion that continues to be at the top of my list of language errors. Pretty embarassing, but here it is.
(This conversation was in Spanish, but I will type it in English).
I was talking to the guy who part runs the organisation in Ecuador who I first volunteered here with. A friendly, casual chat, about what I was planning to do with the rest of my time in Ecuador, whilst here in 2012.
Me: "I'm going to go to Puerto Lopez to go vagina watching."
Him: "To do what?"
Me: "Vagina watching."
Him: *Very blank expression.*
Me: "I have read and heard about the great vagina watching in Puerto Lopez and its almost the end of the season so I really want to get there in time to see the last of the vaginas. *Hand action of a vagina*
Him: Still nothing. "I dont know."
I was just as confused as he was. Why could he not understand that I was going to Puerto Lopez to watch the vaginas? That's just the thing to do in Puerto Lopez during vagina season. It's in all the guide books, the internet, YouTube. Why did a native Ecuadorian not understand? Had he never gone vagina watching himself, in Puerto Lopez?
That would be why..
"Vagina" and "whale" are pronounced very similarly, but, of course, they are two very different words.
Vagina in Spanish is pronounced bahina. Whale, in Spanish, is pronounced bajena.
They say that you often need to make the mistake in order to learn from it. Boy, did I learn from this one! It wasnt until I was in Puerto Lopez the following week that it clicked what I had actually been saying to the poor man. Elder still continues to laugh and tease me about this incident. Its just one more memory of my first Ecuadorian adventure. Ive come a long way from speaking absolutely no Spanish upon arrival in June 2012, to now being able to speak pretty fluently. A rookie error, a blip, a learning curve? An embarassing moment!
|My first glimpse of a vagina. I mean, WHALE!|