Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Spanglish is Flyin' in this House!

Spanglish:  part Spanish + part English = all wrong!

So...my kids are taking a Spanish class at our homeschool co-op.  After two weeks of lessons, their Spanish is like totally amazing!


The truth is that my three little white kids aren't pickin' up the language too well.

They don't sprechen sie Spanish.

No habla  Espanol.  No comprende.

El queso esta viejo y putrido. (The cheese is old and moldy.)

Name that movie!....

I digress....

We live in a state that borders Mexico, and I'm tickled that my kids are starting to learn Spanish. It really comes in handy around these parts.  For the last two weeks, my children have been "practicing" their foreign language skills with all of the family members, and it's been quite comical to say the least. None of my kids pronounce anything authentically. They all sound like they're from Arkansas.

(Did I ever tell you about the time I once went to a Taco Bell in Arkansas? Funniest thing ever! They pronounce everything wrong! They substitute a short "A as in apple" sound for everything on the menu...Taaacos, Naaaachos, Burrita)  Oh, and they don't put taco sauce on anything because, "People 'round them parts don't like their Taaaacos spicy.")

Back to the story....

The kids have been practicing their numbers and colors lately.

My daughter screams across the house, "Mom, what is ocho times nueve?"

My son chimes in before I can answer. "It's siete and dos".

(He hasn't learned any of the numbers past ten so he's developed some form of Spanish roman numeral system to try to say 72. Seven and two. Get it? Neither did I. It's ok.)  Hopefully, this week's lesson includes numbers beyond 10 or my children will continue to create their own.

Now I'm no expert in Spanish, myself.  I had 3 years of it in Jr. High/ High School and could only say enough to find the bathroom or get directions. That all changed when I started working in the agricultural industry.  Some of my Spanish speaking co-workers gave me a real education while I was working side by side with them in the barn.  After six months of "on the job training" I knew all of the Spanish cuss words, could tell someone off in Spanish with vigor and vibrato, and could order people around in Spanish like I was the boss.

Good times, good times.

I'm sad to say that in my decade of being a stay-at-home mother in this mountain town, my Spanish has turned rusty at best.  When people speak it, I can understand what they're saying, but I forget some of the words to respond back to them.  However, I've retained enough to know bad Spanish when I hear it.

So I'm trying to grin and bear it when the terrible Spanish flies around the house, hurting my ears like the sound of my Illinois farming Grandpa ordering Chimichangas from the Mexican Food restaurants here in Arizona.

Which reminds me of another story...

Did I ever tell you about the time I went to Ohio with my church youth group and my youth pastor wanted to take us out for Mexican Food at a place called Chi Chi's?  We refer to a woman's.....chest area....as her chi chi's around here so I was totally shocked when he said that! It seemed scandalous coming from my youth pastor. I was envisioning some sort of place with women of ill-repute or a restaurant like Hooter's. Nope. It was a totally legit' Mexican Food Restaurant. (But still...can Mexican Food really be that good in Ohio? That's a looong way from the border. I'm not saying it's impossible for Ohio to have good Mexican food...just improbable. If you're from Arizona and go to Ohio and think there's a place that has good Mexican Food, you have found a true diamond in the rough!)

Let's land this blog-post plane shall we? In conclusion.... I'm trying to have an extra measure of grace with my three children as they learn to roll their r's, and communicate in a foreign tongue. I am also trying not to burst out laughing when they speak to me with random Spanish words and sing Feliz Navidad repeatedly because it is the only song they know in Spanish.

Adios Amigos,


P.S.- Wow. My rambling was at an all time high in this post.  My brain is a very busy place.  Thanks for not leaving me despite my inability to focus on one thing.


  1. Beauty. Please photo gallery cowboys. thank you

  2. I remember my Dad always talking to us in Spanish. He and my uncle can speak it fairly well, being they used to hire alot of Spanish workers around the farm, and ranch. We picked up on a lot of it, and then it was required to graduate, so we took it in school. I liked it, although Daddy's and my uncles Spanish was vera different than what they teach in school, but when I went into the second year of it, I lost it, there was too much vocabulary, and the proper stuff, and I just couldn't keep up. I did pass the class, but it was a wonder.

    I still try to keep up on Spanish, being we have come upon some illegal aliens before, and you need to tell them to get out of here. I'm not even going to try to type that, okay.

    Your kiddos make me laugh!! They better get to learning more, or they may be talking in siete and dos because it's what stuck. lol! I think that's great that they are wanting to learn a new language though!!

  3. "Spanish roman numeral system"...you crack me up!

  4. When my mom tried to get us started on Spanish, it was a failure. (I was homeschooled) I never could lose the Tx accent enough, and to this day I can't roll my r's. I should know it better as much as we hear it.

    We switched to sign language, and that went much better!

  5. Encino Man! Still one of my all-time favorite movies for stupid humor! "El queso está viejo y pútrido. ¿Dónde está el sanitario?" Love it!

    I grew up in Southern California, and found out through a Mexican friend that the best places to get real Mexican food are the little hole-in-the-wall places that are only known by word of mouth. They do exist, even here in Ohio :-)

    1. Way to go! I don't know why I remember that movie line because I was a kid when I watched that movie. LOL!

      We are big fans of hole-in-the-wall restaurants here too! Sounds like you know how to find a real diamond!

  6. My husband and I met while we were working together at Chi-chi's. And yes, we live in Ohio. And no, the food was not authentic at all. Even we Ohioans knew that, but that didn't stop many from eating there. Sadly, Chi-chi's is no longer except for a line of salsa that major groceries around here still carry.

    Lovely blog! This is my first time visiting from Joyful Chaos.