There Are No Words

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My Spanish teacher is incorporating lots of conversation into our class and it’s fun, though often the things we say are truly laughable.  We did some role playing, learning to make travel plans, and a woman in the class tried to reserve not a hotel — but a hotel room — with a swimming pool.  When asked to describe a photo of some people on a park bench who were feeding pigeons, one person said that the people were eating the birds, another said they were feeding the airplanes.  Last week the teacher asked a woman to recount in Spanish, the experience she had had trying to get reimbursed following the cancellation of a class.  My classmate tried to say that she thought that the accountant at the school was mean to her and she didn’t know how to express that. Our instructor is a native speaker, yet she puzzled and puzzled — and she never really could readily come up with something that worked as a direct translation. I love the idea of a culture that doesn’t have an easy way to express the quality of being “mean”.

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