Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Lost in Translation

I had my first translation faux pas last night. In our Spanish classes, we were taught that "tonto" meant silly. So, when I learned the word for monkey ("mono"), I immediately gave CT the nickname "mono tonto". After using it several times in public, I realized that I was getting some pretty strange looks. So, I asked one of the boys why. Apparently, in Honduras the word "tonto" has a different connotation. I had been calling my child a "stupid monkey" all evening! Not exactly the example I intended to set!

I'm able to communicate a little with the boys if I can get them to speak slow enough, but I'm disappointed that I don't understand as much as I thought I would. Yesterday, PK and I were called to a staff meeting...which was entirely in Spanish. The director wrote some notes on the whiteboard and I was able to understand most of that (with the help of my handheld translator), but I didn't get most of the commentary. I got a recap from one of the other missionaries, but I think we're still missing a lot of important information and I wish I could understand a little more. The other missionaries assure me that I will learn quickly and that I'll be almost fluent when by the end of the year, so maybe there's hope. In the meantime, the boys are more than happy to correct me.


Michelle said...

Oops!!! Only you girl. :)

Tracy said...

i'm sure we're going to see lots of funny stories this year!