Baby C’s teachers are Hispanic. In fact, most of the teachers at the school are Hispanic… and oddly enough, the ones who aren’t Hispanic aren’t particularly pleasant towards me. But I digress.
Growing up in Southern California, my classmates and I had mandatory Spanish lessons starting in preschool. We learned the basics (silla means chair, cabeza means head, biblioteca means library, etc.) and had the option to further study it in high school and college. (I went as far as my Sophomore year in high school, then decided I had enough.)
These days, my Spanish is limited, at best. To make matters worse, the style of Spanish I learned was Castilian, and I’m oft chided by the Puerto Ricans and Cubans with whom I practice my Spanish because my pronunciations are, well, a little too formal. From what I understand, it’s basically the difference between British English (which I still insist is proper English) and American English.
Be that as it may, I’ve taken it upon myself to try and improve my Spanish well enough to make small talk with Baby C’s teachers. They’re tickled by the fact that I greet them with, “Bueno dias, Senora L,” and this morning, I even asked his teacher how her weekend was. My accent is passable (it’s probably a big part of the reason I don’t speak Spanish more often – I’m a stickler for pronunciation), but they appreciate that I make the attempt.
So, Yo hablo un poquitito Espanol, y comprendo un poquito, tambien, pero necessitas hablar muy despasio. In other words, I try.