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secret language
Jan 31st, 2010 by micah the admin

My best friend and I like to speak to each other in what we call our “secret language” which isn’t so secret in a state where half the population speaks Spanish. But we speak this language to each other when we are sure there are only people around who don’t understand and we don’t want them to understand. So the other day we were at the local Starbucks doing our homework and there was an older couple on the couches right across the way who kept on staring at us. I could see it because it was right in front of my face but my friend couldn’t unless she looked to her right. So I felt I needed to inform her of the rude people so I tell her in our secret language “nos estan mirando” (they are staring at us) in a “how dare they” tone. I said it quite loudly the first time. So my friend mouths to me, “they probably speak Spanish” to which I reply confidently that I’m sure they don’t. …so I repeat it a few more times to her as it is annoying and distracting me. Me  giving rude looks, staring back, and rolling my eyes wouldn’t stop them so I just tried to focus on my homework. Eventually they get up to leave but to my dismay they approach my friend and ask her what her shirt says. She reads them in Spanish what the shirt said (it was the name of the Christian organization we work with), and as she was about to explain what it meant, they finished her explanation already knowing the organization and language, and began to converse with us in Spanish. I didn’t say much, I only felt my face get brighter shades of red and they didn’t say much to me anyways. (They mostly looked and talked to my friend) Not only did they know people we know, they were sweet old missionaries for like 50 years. Yeah, I felt like a jerk. But I learned my lesson. I’ll never speak our secret language again in a public place if I’m talking about someone.

Rachel – SC

phonetics flop
Jan 18th, 2010 by micah the admin

Once when I was in a phonetics class at an intensive Spanish training program, the instructor asked everyone to think of a word in Spanish with a long u (ooo) sound. When it got to be my turn, I blurted out the word “gula.” I don’t know why that word came to mind, as I had no idea what it meant. I must have heard it or read it in an article at some point and merely forgotten its meaning. I do remember I said it slow and drawn-out like, though, and I remember thinking I sounded weird as I said it. I also remember the horrified look the instructor gave me when I said it and how she just went on to the next person without commenting. Later when I got to my room I looked up the word and was horrified to find out that it meant “gluttony.” The instructor just happened to be an extremely rotund woman, which explained her horrified reaction to my example. I never went back to the phonetics class (it was an extra-curricular optional activity) and I avoided the instructor from then on.

Lauren – Somewhere

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