Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What's in a Name?

Apparently as a side effect of being married, I've acquired the ability to speak/read Spanish. I've received a couple of flyers in Spanish, and last night during dinner, the phone rang. I got up to answer it, and the conversation went something like this:

Male Caller: Something unintelligible
Me: Huh?
Male Caller: Something unintelligible
Me: Sorry, I don't speak Spanish.
Male Caller: Are you Hispanic?
Me: No.
(End of call)

I suppose I could completely throw them off and try answering in Tagalog, but so far about all I've mastered is the names of a couple of dishes. I still struggle with "Thank you." Maybe I should just speak to them in German so we can play Phone of Babel.


The Dear NYer said...

Sandra, do you really speak German?

Sandra said...

Liebe NYer,

Ja, ich kan Deutsch sprechen, aber ich habe viele vergessen. Ich habe Deutsche in die Schule gelernt. Es ist ein Schande, dass meine Eltern hat mit mir nicht Deutsch gesprochen wann ich klein war. Ich spreche Deutsche nur mit meine Grossmutter.

(Should I translate?)

The Dear NYer said...

All I know in German from a former admirer is, Mein Herz its dein ich libe dich (Sorry, if I missed spelled any words, it was a long time ago).

Okay, I understood, Dear NYer, yes, I can speak German, then I have trouble guessing some of the middle. But, you speak German with your Grandmother, right? I am very impressed. Did your parents speak German to you as a child too?

Greek was my first language, I learned to speak some english from the other children in my neighborhood and from watching Sesame Street, until I went to preschool ;)

Sandra said...

My parents used German with my brother, so he didn't know English (or not very well) when he started school. Of course, now he barely remembers any German. So they didn't teach me German; I had to learn it at school. I wish my parents had used more German with me so I'd be more fluent today. Can you still speak Greek pretty well?

Sandra said...

D'oh! I guess I should provide the full translation for what I said earlier: "Yes, I can speak German, but I've forgotten a lot. I learned German at school. It's a shame that my parents didn't speak German with me when I was little. I speak German only with my grandmother."

The Dear NYER said...

Yes, I can. Or, at least I think I can until I go to Greece ;) No, seriouisly, I am fluent.

When I was two years old my family left Greece for New York. Greek was my first language. We (my sisters and I) still speak Greek when we are with my dad and older relatives but, my sisters and I speak English exclusively when we are together. I am very impressed with your knowledge of the the written German language. Leaving Greece prior to any experience in school my Greek grammer is horrible. Let's just say I can read and write Greek at a fourth grade level. That, and being fluent in the spoken language get's me by when I am in Greece, no problem. I am however the but of many of my cousin's jokes. But, we tease the ones we love, right? Thanks for the translation. Did you know Greek is a mandatory language requirement for children in school in Germany? Or, at least it was years ago.

Russ said...

Believe it - I remember listening to that Greek language coming from behind me in the office - I just remember hearing "bravo, bravo" every so often - the rest was sort of a jumble of words (attesting to her fluency.)

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