Making Mistakes–Part of Learning the Language

I did it again.  Only now, I’ve learned to laugh at myself.  Which is good–considering everyone else was laughing too!


Rosario and Antonio in Santiago

When we went to Monterrey, we stayed with a family there.  While the father and a son lived a little over a year in Texas–their English is developing.  So the majority of the time (99.9%) we spoke Spanish.  Or rather they spoke Spanish, and I tried…  Actually, upon leaving I felt like I had learned so much!  It’s amazing what five days with just a little English will do for you.

I have a friend from Monterrey who I contacted prior to visiting.  Her parents live there, and I thought that if we had time we could see them.  Fortunately, their photography shop was just a short distance from the family we stayed with.  We stopped by one afternoon, as they were leaving the next day for a trip.  Victor and I sat and chatted with the older gentleman–as he speaks English.  But we went back and forth with a bit of Spanish too.


REALLY old church in Santiago, Nuevo Leon

Eager to show my skills when we were leaving, I gave a parting goodbye.  Here in Mexico, they often will say, “Que tenga un buen dia.”  Which means, “Have a good day.”  Or in the south they more often will say, “Que la vaya bien.”  Which is something close to,”Have a good one.”  I wanted to say, “Have a good trip.”  And I really thought I knew what I was saying.  So confidently, I said, “Que tenga un buen viaja.”  Which my husband told me later was like saying, “Have a good old woman (or can also be used as a term of enderment like ‘honey’.)”  older woman=vieja, trip= viaje

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVictor at Cascada Cola de Caballo 

Later that weekend, we were looking at photos of the family on the computer.  Both parents have large families, and it was a lot of fun to find out who’s who.  Rosario has three brothers–and she is the only daughter.  Upon looking at her family, I ask, “Quien es mejor?”  She looked at me strangely, and said, “Well, they’re all good–but I guess him,” pointing at the man standing next to her in the photograph.  Victor knew what I was really asking, and let her know I wasn’t wondering about the best brother–just the oldest…  mejor=best, mayor=oldest

I may make a lot of mistakes, but I sure do it with gusto!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFamily picture at the overlook in Santiago

One response

  1. Mistakes happen to the best of us! In my WEDDING VOWS, I said “yo librero” instead of “yo libero” (I bookshelf!)!!!! Luckily we didn’t notice till we watched the video. Shortly after we got married we were breakfasting with my family and my husband said, “can you please pass the butterfly?” Instead of “butter”. 🙂

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