Saturday, September 26, 2009

Growing Up Spanglish

My sister and I are slightly damaged, I say that in a loving way. We grew up just a little different than our friends. We grew up Spanglish.

Now you might ask what exactly is growing up Spanglish? Well if you take the best of American culture and mix it with the best of Spanish tradition you have growing up Spanglish. Our parents did not speak English as we were growing up which now in retrospect has led to some of the funniest moments (and memories) of our lives. We recall parental language faux pas and can laugh for hours not only at the way they were said but at the subtle innuendos associated with what they said.

Our parents never said thank you very much, but did mange "sank ju' berry mush." Our friends shopped at Winn Dixie Qwik Chek we cut to the chase and went to "Winn Chek," our grandmother's favorite store. Most of you probably have had a bucket of the Colonel's Kentucky Fried Chicken hmmm at our house that would be "Ceeken Leeken." And then there was the bus driver who insulted our mother (according of course to our mother) the man simply asked her to "Put the fare..." in the toll machine and pointed. Our mother insisted that he had called her "...an ugly lady of the evening."

As we grew up we learned the American translation for our "secret language." Now after so many years we crack up when we hear friends and acquaintances discuss their "secret languages." It seems they might not have been as "secret" as any of us thought. There are so many common factors that we are beginning to wonder if it wasn't a master plot thought up by our parents.

Growing up Spanglish was amazing. It prepared us for what life had to hold. If nothing else it did teach us to think on our feet, to question the spoken word, and to stand on what we know to be right for us. Case in point, I was going out on a first date many years ago when my mother turned to me and the young man and uttered, "Don con hon lader." A huge smile emerged on my dates face, to which I responded "zip it, you can't begin to understand."

Have a great weekend and until next time,

Carmen

1 comments:

Yazmin @ A Pretty Rock said...

"Put the fare" hahaha I love it! My mom had a better handle on the language, but my dad was the one I giggled at some.

Although, my mom has an issue with butchering phrases...after many years of indulging in the correction of her language faux pas, I'm getting my just desserts and developing the same issue! It appears God has a sense of humor. :)

 
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