Nov 19

Wordless Wednesday: La “piñesta”

Posted under Clara and Libby, Life, Lost in translation, Puerto Rico by MicheleP.


Ok – so not quite “Wordless”…

One of the girls asked if we were going to have a piñesta at their party.

“A what?”

“A piñesta”

Puzzled look on my face

“You know. That thing with candy at a fiesta. A piñesta”

And now a new word has been coined at our house. Part fiesta…part piñata. La piñesta. Me gusta!


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Nov 06

Spanish baby steps

Posted under Clara and Libby, Life, Lost in translation, Puerto Rico, School by MicheleP.

Little by little, we are picking up more and more Spanish. Since the girls have been in preschool, they have made progress. They will often insert random Spanish words into their vocabulary. “Mom, can I have some leche?” They have also started calling Scott “Papi” and me “Ma MA” and of course their favorite word: “Mio” (which translates: MINE). Sometimes we aren’t sure what they are trying to say, but we know it’s something in Spanish. They love to talk about their friends at school and one little girl in particular – “Mal-le-handra”. I asked if it’s “Alejandra” and they say no and insist on the “Male”. Today I remembered to ask about this child and Maestra Maria had no clue who I was talking about. I said it a few more times and then she says, “OOOOOH. Maria Alejandra?!” Yes, that’s it. They hear it said so fast that they can’t distinguish the two different names.

Here is a little video of Libby singing in Spanish and then in English”…(one of the side effects of her learning the song in English at a Spanish school – LOL). Those in Puerto Rico will get a kick out of the pronunciation of “good”.

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Oct 09


Posted under Life, Lost in translation, Puerto Rico by MicheleP.

Acclimate: to adapt to a new temperature, altitude, climate, environment, or situation

When people give directions, rarely do they use actual street names. It’s always – “Take that road, turn by the so and so store, etc.” We found this odd but it seems that many streets, while named, are poorly marked so it’s easier to just use landmarks.

A few weeks ago we had some really heavy rains – many areas experienced significant flooding as a result. After leaving for work, Scott sends me this text:

“If you go to costco don’t go by cows”

And of course, I knew EXACTLY what he meant.


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Sep 20

Hablas Ingles?

Posted under Life, Lost in translation, Puerto Rico by MicheleP.

Although sometimes he struggles with some of the nuance of Puerto Rican Spanish (hmmm, maybe THAT’S my problem?!), Scott’s Spanish is good – REALLY good and getting better as time goes on. When we first moved here and he met all of his new coworkers, one of the locals took him around to everyone else saying, “This is Scott (Es-Scot). He speaks REAL Spanish.”

Scott stayed home yesterday morning because we were having a new satellite system installed. As the guys were setting it all up Scott was asking some questions about certain channels available and the installers were a little concerned.

“You do know that all of these channels are in English.” 


“So you will need to understand English to watch them.”


“Oh, you speak English?”


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Mar 19

Rough waters

Posted under Life, Lost in translation, Puerto Rico by MicheleP.

Evidently we are under a severe weather warning – something about tidal flooding and extremely high waves (although looking outside you would never know it based on the blue skies out my window). I say “something” because when I click on the severe weather alert on it displays a whole lot of something – all in Spanish. Now, I find this interesting… everything else on is in English – even the button to get more information about this severe weather alert – but then when you try to find out about THE MOST IMPORTANT part of the weather report, they switch the language on you.

Seriously – if a Spanish speaker were on the site…they wouldn’t know to click for more info… and English speakers who recognize that they need to read the alert…can’t.

Am I the only one who is confused?


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Nov 19

‘A’ for effort?

Posted under Lost in translation, Puerto Rico by MicheleP.

Our condo complex is rather sleepy…and vacant. In the 3 weeks we’ve been here, I’ve only seen one other person use the pool, which honestly is quite nice ;) . The other night we headed over for a swim after dinner. The lights were not on so I went over to ask the guard where I could find the lights for the pool. Our guards here are very nice – but don’t speak a lick of English.  I figured I just needed three main words: Where, Lights and Pool – all of which I knew thought I knew.

I asked my question and the guard nodded and went to turn on the lights – I returned to a smiling Inca feeling pretty darn proud of myself.

“Hey – I did it! I asked him where the lights were and he understood me!”

“Yes he did…”

“Aren’t you proud of me?”

“Yes, I am…except…”

“Except what?”

“Except – you asked for the moons of the pool.”


Note to self:

Luz = Light

Luna = Moon



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