I have been dealing with our corporate team in Latin America lately. They are lovely people, very easy to work with, but their customers all speak Spanish. This has been a challenge. I took Spanish in prep school, never did that well, and never practiced after that.
The first internal call with the team, I apologized and explained I knew “Bar Spanish.” It is a very simple dialect:
- “Una cerveza, poor favor.” (A beer, please.)
- “Uno mas.” (One more – can be repeated.)
- “Gracias.” (Thank you – after each delivery.)
- “Manana.” (See you tomorrow.)
They found this quite funny (whew.) I did not cuss in Spanish, which I learned in college, although not officially. The problem with Bar Spanish is that it only works in Cozumel, and they all speak English there, anyway.
Most of the rest of the basic Spanish I remember is “Una cerveza y dos helados” which is “one beer and two ice creams.”
It was from a story we had to read in sixth grade, a picture book using basic phrases as captions for each picture. I never understood why a Dad would order beer while getting his kids ice cream. Then, I had my child.With grandkids, I would have to learn “one defibrillator and three ice creams.”
For the record, my former manager (current translator) told the Latin America team about beer and ice cream, and they found it hilarious. At least laughter is the same in English and Spanish. I hope.