Monday, November 28, 2005

Sesame Street let me down

I was out having lunch with Grouchy Guy, Athletic Post-Doc, and a visiting Post-Doc from Mexico. Athletic Post-Doc was also Mexican, and Grouchy Guy spoke Spanish at home growing up, so I was at a bit of a communicational disadvantage. Athletic Post-Doc and Grouchy Guy did their best to keep both me and the visiting Mexican involved in the conversation.

Wanting to show off what little Spanish I new, I said, “I don’t speak Spanish, but I did learn a few words on Sesame Street. I can say 'hola', 'como estas', and 'agua', and I can count to ten.”

“Oh, yeah?” said Athletic Post-Doc, encouragingly. “Let’s hear it!”

“OK,” I replied, and began. “Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, huevo, diez.” But for some reason, when I got to nine, the three native Spanish speakers started laughing at me. “Why are you laughing?” I said, hurt. I thought that they were merely amused by my poor accent.

“Well,” said Grouchy Guy, “it’s just that you didn’t say ‘nine.’ You said, ‘One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, egg, ten.’ The word for ‘nine’ is not ‘huevo,’ it’s ‘nueve.’”

So that explains the strange looks I get when I order neuve rancheros.


Doktah said...

Do you get the look like you ordered 7 supersize diet cokes?

Mo said...

For the record, I've never actually ordered neuve rancheros. Mostly because, yuck.