Monday, October 3, 2011

What's in a Vowel?

Like English, Spanish has 5 vowels in the alphabet: A, E, I, O, U. However, in English we're fairly liberal with them, and actually use around 15 different vowel sounds when we speak. That's not the case in Spanish. Spanish vowels tend to be much more pure (always sound the same). Unfortunately, that can get you into trouble, if you're not careful!

A few days ago, I went next door to the butcher shop to buy some meat for the grill. We are slowly building a relationship with the butcher and his wife, and she told me once that when I could speak better, she wanted me to teach her the Bible. On this particular day, while her husband was cutting some meat for me, she started to ask me questions. To my delight, I was able to answer them, and we spent an hour chatting about many different Biblical subjects! This was a tremendous breakthrough for me as a language learner.

However, as I excused myself to leave, I indicated the meat and intended to say "Todavia tengo que pagarle" (I still have to pay you), but because I was not careful with my vowels, I accidentally said "Todavia tengo que pegarle" (I still have to hit/beat you)!!! Whoops!


Kaylee and Anne walking past our butcher shop (as seen from our balcony)

1 comment:

  1. hilarious! i am sure she laughed, right? ;-)

    praying for all of you!