Got A Conundrum Going On Here

It’s complicated.

Our neighbours to the left of us are Spanish. Our neighbours to the right are French.

Our Spanish neighbours speak (some) English, but we’re rubbish at it. {I mean Spanish} However our French neighbours also speak (some) English, and we can speak (some) French. When we first communicated with the French couple I mentioned:

“Je crois un peu de la Francais, mais L’Espanol — is basically crap”

Note: Some of the above may not be spelt right, and it’s embarrassing when you used to “know that word,” but it’s disappeared from the memory bank server.

So, does “one” resurrect the French O level from school, or learn full Spanish – or both?? {Blimey}

No kidding, body language works reasonably well but not with nouns, names of (some) things are impossible for all of us. Even so, pointing at an inanimate object with a finger sometimes works.

I’ve often thought that if a third party was doing a video of our conversations, the arm waving and bodily positions involved would be hilarious to watch…

The other night we’d been down to the mall and bought a pressure washer — to wash the sandy rain off the tiles. {Blogged and logged a few days ago} No, we didn’t nick another trolley to bring another heavy object home, (too far away), so we got a taxi…

The scenario:

[It was dark, you can do your shopping while having a right good night out here]

After exiting the taxi at the top of our little road, Dave’s walking down it carrying the heavy box. Our Spanish neighbours who live further up were outside saying goodbye to some friends. [The group hug with the odd “Adios Amigos” gave that one away] Bear in mind they don’t speak a word of English. Yet we very often manage to have animated conversations with them, which include all of us laughing our heads off. Bet they’d be right good fun if we could understand fully, and I suspect they think the same…

I’ll get to this story yet… So Dave’s still struggling with the box, we both sang “Beunos Noches” to everyone and they did too, all four of them. Must’ve sounded like a weird Christmas Carol service. It was obvious they were wondering what the heck, so we came clean about the power washer (excuse pun). One of them understood, explained it to the others, shouted “Ahh, Si, Gracias…!” Then grabbed it off Dave and pretended to run inside. Well there you go, giggling already…

Then the taxi driver decided to join in with our merry little group, staggered out of his car, and made out like he’d slipped a disc while lifting the darn thing out of the boot for Dave. (Limping and groaning, whilst at the same time laughing gave that one away), so he came down and joined in the “conversation” too. Well there you go again, even louder giggling, and the visitors who were “leaving” stayed put.

I sometimes wonder how we manage to unwittingly attract this kind of bizarre situation? Ah well it’s all good fun, we’re still getting used to the Spanish version. In Britain, we had “how to cope with a bizarre situation” sussed. 

BTW: The trolley has now been returned to it’s rightful place behind another one outside Aldi. Dave cleaned the sand off it before trundling down the road, whilst various people we know took the piss. We knew that would happen, they all knew the story behind the mystery of the missing trolley, and why it went walkies…

However, when placed back where it belonged it stood out a mile, the others were still full of sand while our “ex” trolley gleamed in the sun. Dead giveaway or what? RUN…!   

Apologies for using the word (some) (in brackets) a lot in this post, but it was justifiably necessary.

Anyway, this is what we’ve learned about the language so far:

The Spanish don’t get shortened English words such as:

  • Doesn’t
  • Wouldn’t
  • Couldn’t
  • Don’t
  • Won’t

Reading that lot it could well be because they’re all negative slang words that can’t be sung…

So if they DON’T know English, DON’T throw a curve ball the likes of “didn’t” into the conversation, its a dead word to them init. In theory they learn English more proper than wot we do.

To be fair I should be writing this the opposite way round, but I can’t…

Coming up next week: A poorly translated interview with a native about what words not to use in Spanish. Those we just DO NOT get, yet we should…


Well,, we’re off out on a jolly tomorrow with some friends. It’s going to be a magical mystery bus tour for us. The nearest bus stop from our house is about a mile away, as to where the next one is, well your guess is as good as mine. We’ve often wondered where that bus went to, so we’ll find out… Weather forecast: 26 degrees C in March, hmm, that’ll do…

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