Arriving in Buenos Aires (here are some of our experiences on BA) is the official kick-off for our Global Honeymoon. As I’m sure you know, both South and Central America are Spanish speaking – except for Brazil, that is.
So we need to learn Spanish… how hard can it be, right?
What did we expect?
Mix a couple of hours Spanish lessons and a solid French base, and order Argentina’s finest at a local restaurant without anyone noticing you’re a foreigner.
What really happened?
“Eeeuuuhh, podamos, eeeuuuh, aber una tabla para dos, enneeeeuuuh.”… “Houston, we have a problem.” 😀
So we booked an intensive 29 hours of Spanish classes , and here are the 6 lessons learned 1 week later.
6 lessons learned @ElPasaje Spanish School
Spanish = French + O doesn’t work all the time
‘Vino’, ‘momento’, ‘traffico’ and ‘exactamento’ are correct, but ‘biero’ won’t get you a beer in any bar :p
English and French might be false friends
When you’re a bit uncomfortable with your stumbling, you might say “Estoy embarazado”. Don’t be surprised if they’ll give you the evil look when ordering wine, as ‘ambarazado’ means ‘pregnant’.
No shit Sherlock, but 1 letter might change everything
‘Casado’ means married, ‘cansado’ means tired. Although some might find them to be synonyms, there’s a world of difference for most of us.
“La Cocina” [Kosina] means ‘the kitchen’, whereas “Cochino” [Kotsjino] is a pig. Although some of you might be a pig in the kitchen, you might not want to mix them up!
A child might be more fluent than you, but that’s OK
Don’t be afraid to practice! In the beginning it will go horribly wrong. You will say things like “You eat your bed?” ( “¿Comes se cama?”) when all you wanted to know is the persons’ name (“¿Come se llama?”).
Don’t worry, remember: Laughter connects people 😉
Prepare to be disillusioned by famous songs
“La cucaracha, la cucaracha, ya no puede caminar. Porque no tiene, porque le falta las dos patitas de atrás.”
actually means :
“The cockroach, the cockroach, can’t walk anymore. Because it doesn’t have, because it’s missing to little back legs.”
Graçias. So much for the happy song 😉
To sum up
When learning a language you will make a fool of yourself, but it adds so much more to the experience.
At the end of the day even Flemish proved to be a challenge but once you dream in Spanish you know the magic of learning is happening.
Muchas Gracias El Pasaje Spanish School
Taking 5 hours a day of Spanish is a lot and one week is short. But luckily, the El Pasaje Spanish school has a bunch of young talented professionals. They teach with humor and kill you with kindness. Their English and French is perfect so they can easily help you out when you’re lost for words.
Many thanks in particular to our teachers Luciano aka ‘Lucho’ and Mara!