Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Spanish conversation

I'm very excited because next week I going to start giving Spanish conversation classes!
They will be held at the local English Centre - Conexions - a centre that has grown up following the production of a lovely magazine called 'Olive Country Life' and which now boasts a very useful and inviting space including a cafe, a shop, a library, a computer centre and internet access. In addition, there is space for people to meet, chat, hold sewing and other interest sessions. What Diane, who runs the centre, told me is that people want to learn to speak Spanish but get put off by more formal teaching where they are expected to learn verbs and write things down. So we put up a poster and I've been delighted by the number of responses we've had thus far.

My Spanish is quite good (though I struggle to remember to use the subjunctive and still can get my '-a' and '-o' endings muddled) and as Cesar's parents speak no Enlgish English, I have been conversing in Spanish for many years.
I love talking to people, I love to help and to teach and so I can't think of anything better than to put these things into practice together! My experience at work - where I often delivered both impromptu and planned training sessions - will stand me in very good stead here. I am really looking forward to our first class on Tuesday.

Because of this forthcoming event, I have been listening more carefully to conversations going on in the street and around. I had to laugh yesterday at the local supermarket at the exchange between the checkout girl and a customer.  The lady in front on me, having loaded up her shopping and paid, was studying her receipt carefully. I'll translate what I heard:-

Lady: You've charged me for two lots of yogurt
Checkout girl: You must have bought two lots of yogurt
Lady: Listen, sweetheart, if I bought two where are they? I don't remember buying two.
Checkout girl: Well, they'll be in your bag.
Lady:  Where?
Checkout girl:  In one of the bags - I don't know, I didn't pack them.
Lady: Well, I don't think I bought two.
Checkout girl: You'll have to look.
Lady: I'm not going to empty all my bags out again. Don't you know if I bought two?
Checkout girl: I can't remember everything people buy!
Lady: No, but don't you know if I bought two?

During this time, the girl had checked out my items and told me how much I owed, taken my money and given me my change and so I felt obliged to leave without hearing the final outcome of the discussion. I wonder whether the yogurts were discovered or not? Did the checkout girl know really? How long would it take to convince the lady one way or the other?

I'll never know. However, at least if our conversation classes feel a little repetitive or inane to start with, I won't worry too much.

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