Friday, January 18, 2013

¿Cómo se dice...?

I am thirty-four years young, and I arrived in the United States a month after I had turned fourteen-years-old. I've been immersed in the culture of the United States and the English language for about twenty years. I probably became fluent in English in my twenties. I cannot tell you which day, but I do remember thinking that I could understand things better. Most of the jobs I have held have not been jobs where I could speak Spanish constantly. Needless to say, I forget how to say certain things in Spanish. Some things I never even knew the name for it in Spanish. It's kind of funny sometimes, but definitely frustrating. This is another challenge.

A couple of weeks ago we took Nesta to the Shedd Aquarium during one of the free days. We were excited to show Nesta all the cool fish. Nesta was excited to walk around on carpeted floors. For some of the time I carried him and showed him certain types of fish that I found cool. At first I was telling him "Mira los peces, y el del rio que grande!" I was also using the sign for fish. Then we came across a stingray. I was like "Mira la... stingray." Ahhhhh it was so frustrating, and so funny. My husband and I had a laugh, but the entire rest of our time there I kept digging in my brain for the word for it. I also couldn't remember how to say walrus in Spanish, and I just did not know how to say sea otter in Spanish either. This all took me back to a conversation I had with my mom and cousins recently. I was telling them how Nesta loved eating scallops. No one could think of the word for scallops in Spanish.  I looked it up and according to the online dictionary it is vieria.
Maybe I never dined on scallops when I lived in Mexico, but I definitely had never heard that word before. Actually, I have heard it but as someone's last name.

Well the word in Spanish for stingray is mantarraya. Of course, it came to me once we were home and there were no stingrays for me to show Nesta.
Another word I never knew in Spanish is nutria marina, which is the word for sea otter.
The translation of walrus is morsa. I had to look this one up, and once I saw the translation I remembered that I knew it. Just because we're in the topic of sea animals here are some more translations:
Fish: pez (note-pescado is what you eat, pescado means fished out).
Shark: tiburón
Dolphin: delfin
Whale: ballena

I wish I had taken a picture of Nesta at the Shedd Aquarium, but I was too busy chasing him around. Until next post!


  1. Jajajaja! Yo no tengo la más pájara idea de qué son las vierias!! Y mira que vivo en la costa!!
    De hecho, no sabes cómo he sufrido con no saber qué son. Me encanta ver shows de cocina y a cada rato salen los benditos scallops. Cuando los veo subtitulados, me doy cuenta de que traducen como "vieiras" (o "vierias"?) pero aún así no tengo idea de qué son. Por lo que veo en la tele supongo que son lo que nosotros llamamos "callo de hacha".
    Será que cuando puedas, (y si es que tú se los haces a Nesta), me mandes una foto de los scallops crudos y cocidos? Así, de cerquita? Pretty please??? :)

    1. Teniamos un blog de comida que cocinaba Gram.. dejame ver si ahi tengo fotos de los dichos scallops. Yo tambien hasta verguenza tenia pensando que soy costena y ni idea como se dice en espanol!

  2. Cristina, I remember talking to you in High School and not for a moment did I ever think you where not fluent in English!