I know just enough Spanish to be dangerous. And the longer I spend here in Honduras, the more confident I get. That is, until I say something stupid. Really stupid.
For the last two days, I’ve asked countless children to smile for the camera. The Spanish word is sonrisa, however somewhere in the (evidently small) portion of my brain that stores Hispanic vocabulary, I pulled the word sangria from the filing cabinet. Innocent enough, right?
Except sangria just happens to be the Spanish word for bleeding. I must have sounded like some kind of horror-flick-loving American psychopath. “Look at the camera kids. OK, now bleed!” Oops.
Glad I didn’t say that to the crazy guy carrying the machete.
But the ultimate slip of the Spanish tongue came while visiting our sponsor child Jorge yesterday morning. When we first arrived, he was incredibly quiet. Shy. You might even say embarrassed.
And in my attempt to address the issue, I did what all intelligent Americans do when butchering the Spanish language: I added an “o” to the end of the word.
That usually works, right? Hungry-o. Tired-o. Bathroom-o.
“Jorge, tu estas embarazado.”
Thinking I had so smoothly told young Jorge he was acting embarassed, I was a little surprised when he and his brothers couldn’t stop laughing.
Embarazado = Pregnant