Out of The Mouth of Babes, or at Least Their TV Programs

I talked about this earlier in my Spanish Friday post, but my Spanish is so not up to snuff that I thought it merited a proper post.  Being a full-time worker and then coming home and being a full-time Dad, you can get pretty busy.  It makes finding a good time to study at home pretty rare indeed.

The other interesting thing about having children is that despite having SKY TV(satellite television provider), is that the TV is typically only set to one of 4 channels 90 percent of the time:  Disney Junior, Nick Junior, Disney Channel or Nickelodeon.  In New Zealand Disney Junior and Nick Junior have their own Channel, so it not uncommon to come home at night and see the TV on Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues, or any other such program.  They may not even be watching it, but left it on while they went to go play cars or Barbies in the other room.

When I come home, I try to do what I can to help clean up or help cook something so that my wife and I can have some sanity.  It is also very common that my wife, being the wonderful person she is, has cleaned the house and is moments away from putting dinner on the table.  How she does it I will never be able to understand.  In fact, she said that if she died I am not allowed to become a stay at home Dad, because I am so bad at it.  At those time, It is quite likely that I will sit down to a wonderful few minutes of Imagination Movers or the Cat in the Hat.

Man that’s got to be boring right?

It could be, but recently I have started to make things more interesting.  I try to translate what they are saying.  Right now, Blue’s clue’s if one of my favorites to translate, because Steve pauses so much for audience participation that it gives me a chance to keep up.  The tool I end up using the most here is Wordreference.com.  Wordreference.com is a resource I have mentioned before, but recently I found out they have an app(I would have found it earlier, but you have to type WordReference as one word not two).  This has allowed me to look up all kinds of phrases I don’t encounter on a day-to-day basis, because I don’t live in an immersed Spanish-speaking environment.

The other thing I am starting to do, along with Wordreference is look up the word in Twitter.  I got this idea from one of my favorite bloggers, Vocabat.  Here is her post that got me started doing that.  Its amazing what you will find in Twitter.

Do you have any examples?

Here is a recent example.  To be honest I don’t remember which program I was watching, but one of them said, “that’s right.”  I know how to say “tienes razon,” but that means you are right.  It would have worked, but I wanted to see if there was a better or more colloquial way of saying, “that’s right.”  So I did a search in Wordreference and I found the phrase, “así es.”

Now I could have stopped there, but being excited about how to use Twitter as a language learning tool, I decided to look up “así es” in Twitter and this is what I found:

La Patilla @la_patilla…y así es como te das cuenta que eres un geek sin remedio *and that is how you recognize you are an incurable geek.

From that one Tweet, I have learned that “así es” can also mean “This/that is,”  plus I have also learned how to say you recognize and since it is reflexive I also know how to say I recognize: me doy cuentas.  Finally, I learned how to say incurable.  All of this from trying to translate a preschool program.  Who knew?


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Filed under spanish, Ways to learn

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