April 2018

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I already know a lot of groovy, hip, filthy synonyms for cool. Now I know one more. In El Salvador, it's Chivo!

We've had guests from El Salvador for the past couple of weeks. It's been a blast. I haven't spoken Spanish, at least not intentionally, since surgery in 2007, so communicating has been a challenge. Rosaly, Armando, Maria  Jesus and Julietta have been creative listeners and seem to have understood me from time to time. And I, them.

Sometimes I've struggled to remember even simple words and phrases. In the shower washing my hair one morning, I wrestled with how to say, "My hair is wet." I thought, "Mi caballero está enojado," but then I realized that though this was close, I would have been saying, "My cowboy is angry." So I thought some more. Oh right: "Mi caballo está mojado."

After I got out of the shower, I told Ann about my near mistake and how I corrected it. She responded, "I thought pelo was the word for hair. There must be two words for hair. You're just more advanced, so you know two."

I smiled smugly and nodded. Later I remembered that caballo is horse, so I would have been saying, "My horse is wet." I just could not remember, so I went to Google's translater: "Mi cabello está mojado," is what Mr. Google says I wanted to say.

If I had told them that my horse was wet, I'm sure they would have responded, "Chivo!" and I would have smiled smugly and nodded, thinking,  "Yep. Cool."


  1. Lately, I have been noticing myself responding in either spanish or french. Sometimes I catch it before it comes out my mouth, but sometimes not. Ive been having cognitive issues associated with my disease, and am frequently reduced to saying something about the letter it starts with or what the object is next to instead of endlessly searching my mind for the right word.

    My mother was a French major in college, and taught French classes for children when I was in elementary school, so I have been hearing French forever, and speaking some since the age of six. At some point I did rebel and switch to Spanish. I guess bits of those languages are sunk pretty deep in my brain.

    Its kinda the opposite and the same as you are talking about. Trying to find the right word is sometimes difficult, in whatever language.

  2. Wow, the security words needed to prove Im a human posting, most of the time they are too difficult to decipher. Just how smart are these computer blog responders? Better at reading the secret words than I am, I guess.

  3. I missed this one the first time. Reading it just now, Mary, I realized how gracious you are about admitting to your mistakes, and how much humor you find in learning from them. A lesson for us all.


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