Going Back To My Father’s Roots

, , , , , | Learning | March 1, 2018

(I am in a beginner-level Spanish class. Even though this is most students’ first experience with learning another language, the class is encouraged to discuss topics entirely in Spanish as much as possible. It’s a Monday morning, and the lesson of the day has to do with descriptions of events, and deeper responses to, “How are you?” conversation starters, beyond the typical, “I’m well, thanks. How are you?”)

Profesora: “¿Quien puede decir como fue su fin de semana?” *Who can tell how their weekend went?*

(A student, whose “Spanish name” is Patricio, volunteers.)

Patricio: “Este fin de semana no fue bien, porque mi papa esta enfermo.” *This weekend did not go well, because my dad is sick.*

(At least, this is what he tries to say. However:)

Profesora: “Your potato is sick?”

(The class shared a laugh and Patricio turned an embarrassed, pink shade as the teacher took this opportunity to explain the importance of certain punctuations, specifically the accent, indicating emphasis. Patricio, trying for papá [father], instead emphasizing the first syllable [PA-pa], accidentally called his father a potato.)

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