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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

¿Como se dice 'frustration' en Español?

In high school, I took two years of Spanish because it was either that or art. I am no artist. Believe me. Stick figures would have filled my portfolio. Meanwhile, I found that I enjoyed Spanish, and for a while considered attending River Forest for my DCE studies and having an emphasis in Hispanic Ministry. However, the program at Seward was a better program and since they didn't have that emphasis, I didn't think to take any more Spanish at Seward (oversight on my part).

Today, I wished that I had gone with my instincts, and attended River Forest or at least taken Spanish while at Seward. A woman came in asking for information about our Mother's Day Out program. She only spoke Spanish, but brought her 8 year old son to translate for us.

It was frustrating. I wanted to be able to speak directly to the woman. I wanted us to be able to understand each other without her son having to translate. I wanted to not feel so overwhelmingly unable to offer her the information she needed.

Stupid language barriers.

9 comments:

Lubke-Moss said...

You don't really mean you wish you had gone to River Forrest....that's just the frusteration"o" talking! :) I know what you mean, though. I work with a boat load of bi-linguals and I desperatly wish I knew Spanish, too!

Hope all is well with you Hannah!

Jamie Lynn said...

River Forest (oops... it's Chicago now!) my right thigh! Imagine all the wonderful people you would've never met! You never would have had 3D or Cindy Greene! Hogwash.

hannah said...

You make a valid point J. I also realize my ineptitude in a foreign language can be overcome by taking classes when I start master's studies in the fall (hopefully).

L-M: You don't speak Spanish? Aren't you from Texas? I thought that was, like, your native tongue or something ;)... just kidding.

Moose-Tipping said...

Don't even get me started. I get hopelessly Republican in my opinions when it comes to immigration and people who don't speak English.

hannah said...

Moose-Tipping:
We probably shouldn't talk too much more about it then :).

Jamie Lynn said...

Don't mind MT, Hannie. He's just crabby.

PS Maybe we should blog on the "going-back-to-school" issue?

mqzoeller said...

So much to reply to here:
First of all, I'll say I was offended that you said I was crabby, but then realized that I'm not MT. However, as a related and overlooked point, I would like to bring up the fact that people who learned Spanish as a second language (and presumably don't speak it with their relatives) for the most part find it necessary or life-saving approximately .06 times per year. I'm not saying this as a reason that you (Hannah) shouldn't learn Spanish, because in your line of work it could be useful and a really cool gesture to latinos if doing some Hispanic outreach or whatever. I mention it because I frequently hear white people complain about the fact that we have people in this country that speak Spanish and not English, like it's a huge atrocity. What I don't understand though, is the difference it makes for these people. I mean, can one not pump gas or buy a big mac because of language barrier? No. Have you ever heard someone say, "I was in the hispanic community and I really wanted to make new friends but they didn't speak my language. Damn this country!"

In my case, I speak fluent Spanish and I work right in the middle of the hispanic part of Denver but I still have to go out of my way to speak Spanish with someone. On a side note however, I get offered new jobs or projects to take on just because I speak Spanish approximately .06 per day. That could also be because I'm awesome. Whatever.

Hannah, if you want to learn via the infamous "Rosetta Stone" program (value $350 or something) I know a guy who can probably loan you a copy. You just have to come to the Mile High City to pick it up.
Go Rockies.

Jamie Lynn said...

LOL. I heart you MQZ.

hannah said...

Zoeller,
It's obvious the reason you get asked to do things are because you are awesome. Clearly.

You also make a good point about language affecting little of day to day life because we stick to what we know.

Also, Moose Tipping: I've been thinking about your "hopelessly republican" comment and wanted to tell you this: Those that immigrated over from Germany, Norway, Sweden, etc. in the late 19th century were still speaking German, Norwegian, and Swedish until the First World War when they met such hate and opposition when speaking their native tongues that they decided to adopt English. Proof of that fact is that my Grandpa (and many other people of that generation) is/are bi-lingual (German) and he was born in the United States. So I don't know that we're in any different predicament than we were 100 years ago.(speaking generally-yes, I know there's a whole "leaky border" issue)