Claudia was sort of laughing at me earlier. LAUGHING. “You can’t just translate the Tao Te Ching on day 10. You don’t even know how to ask where the bathroom is yet. Or ‘where are the forks and knives?’ “
So she make a good point. But MY POINT is that whatever words and concepts I get attracted to, those are the words I should learn, and the rest will flow in. At least I think. Since I’ve never learned a language before (5 years of French, thank you, and I guess 2 or 3 years of hard core Hebrew, but nothing stuck) I don’t really have any expertise.
So we went to lunch and she got some of the basics in. What was interesting to me is that they were all logical truisms. It seems you can learn an entire language just by finding all the concepts that you either are, or are not.
“Por ejemplo” – “for example” (“very important phrase,” said Claudia, as I’m sure she plans to show me many examples of the correct way to do things)
Everything is either “ariba de o abajo de” - above or below. As in “la plato esta abajo de la mesa” – the plate is below the table. Or “la plato esta ariba de la mesa”
Another one. We’re all either “adentro o afuera” – inside or outside
I like also, “mas o menos” –
As is “bueno?” “mas o menos”. – “more or less”
Another good “or” statement. You can point to “esto o aquello” – “this or that”.
OR “aqui o alli” – here or there.
I’m getting down all the ORs. If someone asks me where I am I can be vague, even coy. “aqui o alli”. I’m not even coy in English but now I can be coy in Spanish.
Are you in the club or out of the club? “adentro y afuera” . I havent’ decided yet. Can I be both?
Are you hot or cold on this decision?
“hace frio Y calor” . I’m hot AND cold.
I’m a Spanish coy machine.
I was getting bored with the basics so I got one good phrase which made no sense to me:
“Solo se que no se nada”. Apparently it means “we only know that we know nothing”
“But isn’t it a double negative?” I said. “nada” is nothing. So shouldn’t “no se nada” mean we know something?
“Solo se que no se nada!”
And that’s the way its going to be.