Sunday, February 04, 2007

Tower of Babel

Peppermint Kiwi writes:

One of my Spanish teachers was Cuban, and she told us about her American boyfriend who was attempting to communicate in Spanish to impress her father. Unfortunately, he didn't realize that embarazada means "pregnant," not "embarrassed."

It's tough to pick up a new language, and if you do so as an adult, there are always stumbling blocks like that. When I was more advanced , I had a very good Spanish teacher who invited our class to come to a Three Tenors concert and "assist." We all thought we'd have to work (and most of us worked in the day before coming to class at night).

None of us accepted the offer. It wasn't till a few years later I discovered that the Spanish word asistir means "attend" while the word atender means "assist."

There the guy was, offering us free tickets to an expensive concert, and none of us had the remotest notion what he was talking about.
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