Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Milestone Lesson

The milestone lesson from Unit 4 in Rosetta runs like a slow film strip. First you see a picture of una mujer and su perro making their way through los arboles. She comes upon a young couple camping. And *ding* you have to guess what they're going to say to each other!

I had to repeat this exercise 3x because my mind went to a complete and solid blank when the bell *dinged* for a response. So, I resorted to furiously writing down some of the more common things you might say to someone - especially in a camping situation.

Qué esta haciendo? What are you doing?
Qué es esto? What is it?
Qué tienen ustedes? What do you have?
Yo tengo pan. I have bread.
El perro esta comiendo. The dog is eating.

The last remark got a big laugh from the couple when the girl said it. I think I'll try that one at my next cocktail party.

The big news is that I completed Unit 1 in less than two weeks. The light is beginning to flicker on in my head, but I know it's going to be a while before I can fire off, " Qué esta haciendo?" and not think of my favorite Mexican restaurant back home.

Other neat revelations: su means his, her, its, one's, and their. Pretty nifty - one stop shopping for every personal pronoun. That's why Hispanics get her and his mixed up in English all the time! Well, I'm sure they get plenty of laughs from us gringos slaughtering their native tongue as well. Also, hijo means son, hija means daughter, esposo means husband, esposa means wife, madre means mother and padre means father. Here's the tricky part - unos padres means parents. How would you describe your family if it included a birth father and a step-father? Dos padres? I'm confused. Please realize Rosetta is just flashing pictures with people pointing at each other, so it's up to you to translate.

I asked Maria at the office how you would tell someone at the hospital where I volunteer, how to say, "Hope you feel better." She said, "Espero y se sinta mejor." I haven't gotten that far with Rosetta yet, but I'm sure that will be included in the next milestone lesson. *Ding!*

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