Lost in Translation

  Last week, there was a definite theme during my tutoring sessions.  Early in the week, one student was working on a Spanish project “El anuario del futuro”, where she found pictures of various students and created a life and profession for them in the future. 

English is not Spanish Lesson 1:
I know I have said this before (and years ago my teachers told this to me)…translators cannot directly translate Spanish into English, or vice versa.  I don’t believe that you can directly translate into any language.  In this lesson we learned that the sentence in English, “He will be a teacher” is simply, “Será maestro” in Spanish.

   Another student found an article in a Delta magazine that was both in English and in Spanish and we did a little exercise….reading the Spanish article (to hear how it sounds and see how its written) to see how it compares to English.  I believe that this is an excellent exercise for language learners at any level.  It is great for pronunciation, structure, and expanding vocabulary!   But we also learned another valuable lesson….

English is not Spanish Lesson 2:
This was a simple revelation….generally Spanish may use more words that English to describe the same concept.  We could see that the Spanish article was about a paragraph and a half longer than its English counterpart!

   Lastly, in my group class we learned how to write sentences with adjectives in Spanish.

English is not Spanish Lesson 3:
Traditionally in English, adjectives are placed before nouns in a sentence.
i.e. The black car.
In Spanish the reverse is true, most commonly, adjectives are placed after nouns.
i.e. El carro negro.

I guess the biggest lesson learned is learning a language is a challenge and in learning a new language your are not just acquiring a skill, but expanding your horizons–creating a new way of thinking and seeing the world with new eyes.

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My Cooking

From Sweet Potato to Sweet Tooth

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies-3

Unfortunately, cooking has never been my “thing”. It’s not that I don’t like it or that I can’t do it necessarily…it just doesn’t get me excited. I guess I didn’t inherit that “love of cooking” gene from my Mom (it’s something that she loves to do!)

However, I do have some favorite dishes and things that I like to prepare. For example, I love the Sweet Potato dish I learned to make while I was in Argentina. Stir fry is pretty easy, healthy, and yummy….(made some the other day with tuna steaks instead of chicken and it was pretty good!). I also like making omelets….but probably my most favorite is salad. I know that doesn’t sound too exciting but I love mixing things together…apples, crumbled bacon, spinach, chickpeas, dried cranberries….yum yum!

I know (or at least I hope…) as time goes by it will spark more enthusiasm for cooking. I’d say one thing that greatly inspired me was living with my host-mom Rosita in Argentina. All around, Rosita was an inspiring person. She held tai-chi and yoga classes in her garage….made all her own pasta, bread, etc. And was such an interesting person with a definite “go-getter” attitude. She made the best bread pudding ever…and I’ve failed to reproduce it.

My own grandma is the queen of baking and makes the most awesome raisin-oatmeal cookies (my favorite!)…although my mom argues that the snickerdoodles are better (her favorite)….while my cousin is partial to potato-chip cookies (guess what…her favorite). Anyway, I guess the moral of this story is yes, I can cook I just am working on the motivation factor!

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El dia de San Valentino

Yes, I know Valentine’s Day has come and gone.  But it has left me with some beautiful red roses and some thoughts. Usually I rant about Valentine’s Day being an over-commercialized Hallmark holiday (which I still believe) but yesterday I had a little revelation.  Valentine’s Day is a day to be thankful.  Regardless if you are in a relationship or single, you should be thankful for the people in your life.  The simple phone calls I received yesterday from my parents saying “Happy Valentine’s Day, I love you,” made me so thankful for their love and presence in my life.

And the truth is I didn’t need them to call yesterday and say that….I know they love me everyday and I love them.  But it got me thinking… I am so thankful for my students, for my job, and for having the opportunity to do what I love everyday…helping others.  So, thank you St. Valentine for helping me be aware of the blessings in my life.

The Weather’s Effect on My Mood

Sunshine

I would say that the weather (and the seasons) very much influence my mood. In the summer, when it’s bright, warm, and sunny–I feel bright warm and sunny. The winter, with its cold weather and grey days (unfortunately) tends to turn me into a bit of a homebody. The cold is a poor motivator for me 😦

Recently, my dad and I had a conversation about the cold and the weather and he mentioned he’s been thinking of moving to Florida, where it’s almost always warm and sunny–and that got me to daydreaming of beaches and sunshine. Like my dad has said many times before….”I’d rather die of heat-stroke than freeze to death.” I don’t know if I exactly agree with him, but I understand the sentiment!

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