Spanish Sundays – Número Tres
Todays Spanish Sunday post will be brief – it will be as short as the amount of time as I spent on Spanish this week. The week started with some sort of stomach bug or virus that put me on the couch for 3 days.
A wise person, or at least, one that was truly on a Spanish learning MISSION would have used this couch-time to plug in the iPod or grab the computer and watch, listen and read Spanish program after Spanish program.
I may be on a Spanish learning MISSION but I am horrible sick person. Instead of using my downtime to work on Spanish I chose to watch Dexter – episode after episode after episode. And you know what I found? I was still exposed to a bit of Spanish.
Dexter, a morbid morality-tale of a show from Showtime, takes place in Miami, Florida, a city that has a large Cuban population. In fact, 2 of the main characters on the show play Cuban Americans and they often drop Spanish words and phrases on the at-home viewer.
Sí, se puede
One of the multitude of episodes of Dexter I watched while holding down the couch was titled Sí, Se Puede. So, feeling guilty for not really learning Spanish while being ill, I Googled the phrase and received a history lesson from Wikipedia.
“Sí, se puede (Spanish for “Yes, it is possible” or, roughly, “Yes, it can be done”; pronounced: [ˈsi se ˈpwe.ðe]) is the motto of the United Farm Workers. In 1972, during Cesar Chavez’s 24 day fast in Phoenix, Arizona, he and UFW’s co-founder, Dolores Huerta, came up with the slogan.
The phrase has been widely adopted by other labor unions and civil rights organizations and drew widespread political and media attention as a rallying cry during the 2006 U.S. immigration reform protests, and was also used in the 2002 Disney film Gotta Kick It Up!.
The saying Sí Se Puede has long been a UFW guiding principle that has served to inspire accomplishment of goals even in what at times may seem insurmountable situations. Sí Se Puede is a federally Registered Trademark of the UFW so the UFW can maintain the original meaning of this special saying.”
So there, I learned something…maybe not specifically related to Costa Rica Spanish but SOMETHING. I was eventually able to get out of the house and purchase a couple of things in town that let me practice hearing and comprehending numbers spoken in realtime – which was my goal for the week.
I may have stated the week weak (in at least 2 senses of the word), but I finished up very strong. This morning, along with my lovely wife and our friends, we went for a nice long hike. This may not sound like a very Spanish intensive activity; however, last night over wine and dinner, we determined that we would hike this morning while speaking Spanish only.
While we did not follow this rule 100%, having a native speaker hiking with us, firing questions, answers, words and wisdom in/about Costa Rica and Spanish was great fun; a very entertaining and informative way to learn. I really hope these hikes continue.
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In addition to writing on this blog, Greg has written for other online publications and has written two popular books about living in Costa Rica:
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