Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Arriba La Celeste!
Well, there is not a doubt (sin duda) that the whole country of Uruguay has but one subject on their minds and that is the World Cup (La Copa del Mundo) and Uruguay's possibility of winning in the quarter finals this Tuesday against the Netherlands.
Today, I am focusing on the Spanish language itself and why I'm having such difficulty in learning it!
I have my reasons! In English there are 6 tenses; Present, Past, Future (these are simple tenses) and Present perfect, Past perfect, and Future perfect. (these are compound tenses). In other words, 3 simple and 3 based on the simple ones. In Spanish there are 14 tenses! Each tense in Spanish has 6 separate words to learn for the same idea. let's take the future tense in English, just learn the word will or shall stick that word in front of your verb and voila! you have the future! for example: I will eat, you will eat, she will eat, he will eat, it/one/people/ they will eat. See how simple! In Spanish, the word EAT would change 6 different ways. "I will eat", becomes, "Comeré". Okay, so the 3 English words become just 1 word in Spanish. However, then, you have to turn around and learn 5 more Spanish words for EAT, just in this one tense alone, the future. You will eat, Comerás, he will eat, Comerá etc....You get the idea! for the present tense learn 6 more words for eat! For the past, learn 6 different words just for the one word EAT. etc... All in all be prepared to learn 96-100 separate words for the word eat!
To give my brain a rest, I decided to look at a few Spanish sayings instead, like "Arriba La Celeste". My grandmother's name was Celeste. She passed away many years ago at a ripe old age. I always knew her name was heavenly, like "un cuerpo celeste" (a heavenly body). When I saw "Arriba la Celeste" in connection with the World cup and Uruguay I looked it up. Arriba means "above" but also "Come on", or "hurray for!" Celeste besides meaning "heavenly" is an adjective also meaning "sky-blue". That's the stripe color of the Uruguay Flag. It is also the Uruguayan sports team shirt color. So Arriba La Celeste is similar to hurray for the blue, or "Come on sky-blue" Encouraging the team and the country of Uruguay to win.
Another saying in Spanish, is similar to our, "When the cat's away the mice will play" but in Spanish, they "Dance!" "Cuando el gato va a sus devociones, bailan los ratones" The mice dance and the reason the cat is away is because he's off praying (being pious).
The next Spanish proverb, is very practical! "Antes que te cases, mira lo que haces." Before you get married, look at what you are doing." Our English equivalent is "Look before you leap" The Spanish one tells you "what" you are leaping into, marriage. In English, I guess, we just go around leaping in general!
I have no idea what this next Spanish proverb is about. "Depues de comer, ni un sobre escrito leer" "After eating, don't even read an envelope." My husband loves cooking and food so maybe just concentrating on the good things in life (like your meal) for awhile, giving them their moment is good advice. Problems will come soon enough (put off reading about them). That's my take on that saying but any Spanish speaking readers who have actually heard this one before by all means, clue me in.
Lastly, my all time new favorite Spanish saying, is suppose to stand in for "Beat it!" If you are being bothered, you can say, drum roll please, "¡Cómprate un calvo y péinalo!" Literally: 'Buy a bald man and comb his hair!"
I can see, it's going to be awhile before I, Hablo español!
PS. Wally, is too sad to post that Uruguay lost to the Netherlands today in the play-offs. It was a respectable loss. Uruguay came away with 2 goals, the Dutch having 3. It was a close match and the Uruguayos know we played well as a country. Still, Uruguay is among the worlds' top four!