Get The Picture? By Sherry Hopkins

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 16, 2009

Sherry Hopkins

Whole sentence still elusive after weekly Spanish lessons

As strange as this may sound, Dear Don has taken to learning the Spanish language. On Sundays we eat a late lunch/early dinner at Mi Pueblo. As part of our wonderful dining experience, the staff has been teaching us Spanish.

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This to a man who cannot read lips and doesn’t have a clue about sign language. Sometimes the English language is a challenge for him.

But the learning process is so funny, so hysterical at times the meal becomes secondary.

This past Sunday one of the wait staff, knowing Dear Don has no clue as to what he is saying, rattled off a long sentence in rapid fire Spanish.

Dear Don looked at the waiter for a moment and replied, “Uno, dos Amigo.”

In English that would be “one, two friend.” Of course this makes no sense to anyone, Dear Don included.

The waiter walked off laughing loudly at us both. Don also replied, “Buenos nachos” and “elrancho” when he doesn’t know what is being said. He thinks any of these words or phrases will work in any situation.

But Dear Don does know two words for sure. One is “loco” and the other is “Chupacabra.” Loco, of course, means crazy and Don always points to me and says, “loco” to the staff. They laugh and reply, “No, no.” They then look at me for reaction and I just shrug my shoulders and say, “Maybe.”

A Chupacabra is a scary mythical wolf-type creature found in Mexico. Dear Don also points to me and says, “Chupacabra.” This too elicits a great laugh among the growing crowd of staff people.

Don loves to make up words that he thinks “sounds” Spanish. I have cautioned Dear Don on occasion not to do this because some things could have a very negative meaning in other languages. He refuses to believe me.

This habit may some day end our wonderful dining/learning experience.

After dinner Sunday he asked for the Spanish word for perfect. “Perfecto,” Juan, our waiter, replied.

Well then, would wonderful be “wonderfulo” or “elwonderful?” He seems to think that an “o” added at the end of any word, or the prefix “el,” will translate most anything one way or another.

On the other hand I am learning too and trying to keep separate in my mind the difference in saying I am very good and the food is very good. Which would be “muy bien” and “muy bueno,” respectively.

We both have trouble remembering from week to week what we have learned. The staff, knowing this, teases us each visit.

The newest word we learned Sunday was “caliente,” meaning hot. Upon hearing this translation Dear Don remarked, “I can’t say that. I’ll just stick with hot.”

He’s a work in progress.

So for the time being, until we know at least a whole, complete sentence in Spanish, it would be best to continue to talk to us in English.

At least I can translate that language to Dear Don.

You get the picture?

(Contact Sherry at