Today, my gardener and I had an interesting exchange. He's new so I always have to remind him who I am on the phone. I had received a notice from DWP. In order for the meter readers to do their jobs I needed to clean out some pretty extensive bird droppings that they did not want to wade through. I had asked the gardener to hose the area down once each month as part of our agreement. When we set it up it was with a lot of hand gestures but over the phone is another matter.
The two key words are "bird" and "droppings." Growing up, I learned "caca" and "mierda" for the obvious, but that couldn't be socially correct. But, what is "bird?" (Pollo doesn't count. That's chicken.) While Rafael waited on the phone, I ran to http://spanishdict.com and typed in "Bird." The answer came back "Pajaro." That's right! I remembered from 8th grade Spanish. I studied Spanish from 7th grade through Senior Year in college and spent a trimester immersed in the language in
I typed in "Droppings." Nada. Rafael was still hanging on. I explained to him "las cosas dejan por los pajarros." "Huh?" he said in the universal language. He called his teen-aged daughter to decipher my broken Spanish but she was too busy to come to the phone. He said "I'll be there Friday." I am sure, hoping for luck with my sign language.
But there are forums at the site in which you can ask questions (after a free sign up). I posted an email with my question and in a few minutes I had my answer from a lady named "Cherry": "There are several that you could use: 'excrementos fecales de ave' or 'heces de ave.' Ave is 'bird' or you could also say 'pájaro,' " she explained.
Armed with this knowledge, now I can get the DWP off my back. But I will return to http://spanishdict.com because you can learn Spanish (or re-learn) at their site with a daily tutorial. Buena Suerte!
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
When You Need Spanish Right Away