Each and every year since I was a kid, I get the feeling after the Christmas holidays that the winter is over. Of course, ‘actualmente’ it is not true. It is the eighth of January. and it has been getting colder. When all the decoration is put back into the boxes, where they happily await until next December, grey skies cloud my thoughts and Spring seems to be a year away.
Nevertheless, today the sun is shining, and the tree with the baubles, ornaments and lights is just as beautiful now, as it was on the twenty-fourth of December.
I had five classes, and the last one had to be flawless. One of the students had problems earlier (technical issues), therefore it was time for an entertaining, yet not too amusing practice. Lucky for me, she was a high level student as well as the other, and the class flow was really good. The ice was broken at the beginning and quickly melted away. Ice, meaning my stagefright, while I was some two thousand five hundred km afar from them.
The earlier ones were mostly with kids.
I started with Nil, a curious, dynamic and truly excited little boy, who most of us would call ‘a wonderful student’. He is.
The next lesson was a beginner level adult session, with Mariluz and Manuel. Both keen learners, they enjoyed being put to the dreaded test of
sixty seconds just a minute again and again.
The third class was for intermediate level teens. There was only one, Carme, who told me sometime ago she likes to study English on Saturdays, and I believe her. Why not, right?
The last of the lectures with children on the second Saturday of this year was also with a student I know. They forgot the class, and were a little late. I should avoid defaming them with their name … the class went relatively well and I could practice some techniques to gain and maintain a child’s attention, who is thinking about many things but me and the screen.
The truth is, I had the idea of using some other false friends throughout the text, but that was just an initial thought.
Not much followed.
I wrote things like:
- Teaching avocados
- Hoovering the folders - Vacuum the ‘carpetas’
- Looking for bread ‘sin preservativos’
I am sorry for the last one.
But let's see, who are those false friends?
Cognates are words in two languages, sharing the same etymological root, with similar spelling, pronunciation, and meaning.
False friends are words that no matter how similar they are, their meaning is different.
The first of these pesky lingo-villains in this text is actually
‘Actualmente’ in Spanish means ‘at the moment’, not ‘in reality’ as in English.
In the context of today, and this writing, both words could work in that sentence; allowing some Spanglish to happen. It is actually, and currently not true that the winter is over.
It sounds like talking randomly, right? Teaching avocados.
The reason for this mess is: I used to give in-company classes to ‘abogados’, which reads ‘lawyers’ in Spanish.
To vacuum the folders - could be a slang used by hackers for purging sensitive data.
Hoovering the ‘carpetas’ does not mean vacuum cleaning the carpets, but the folders.
I wasn’t sure about including the third one, but perhaps it helps when it comes to doing the groceries in Spain, or any other Spanish speaking country for that matter.
The word preservatives in Spanish is ‘conservativos’, whereas ‘preservativos’ are condoms.
One last word …
If a Spanish person happens to ask you for a ‘vaso de agua’, leave the vase and indulge them with a nice glassful.
Que tengas un feliz dia, o noche!