Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Language Barriers

Last night I was in Shekou for the second seder. It started much later than I expected. I had the opportunity to attempt to speak with H. as we waited for others to arrive. The rabbi and another Israeli had stepped outside to talk in Hebrew (another language I don't understand). The problem I had was H. is from Colombia and I haven't had a Spanish class in almost 8 years. I did prepare for this though--I've been watching The Simpsons with Spanish subtitles. Anyway, I came to the conclusion that I can remember a fair amount of Spanish vocabulary--it's the verb conjugations I tend to forget; especially the past tense. The other problem I kept encountering was that I would use Chinese pronouns most of the time. The entire conversation we had was a mixture of three languages.

Fortunately, H.'s English skills are about as good as my Spanish skills; unfortunately, neither of us is very good in Chinese. I think I came away with saying, "我 necesito trabajo more." I think I'm just inept in three languages.

1 comment:

mad said...

I guess Doh! is the same in any language. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.