Pronunciation day

I have found a new appreciation for tourists, complete with their blank looks suggesting a few quid short, not to mention their broken English and difficult pronunciations. It’s understandable now that I am sporting the same simple blank look, especially at the most important part of the day …. while ordering coffee.

The line is getting longer as more people join the queue but I don’t let pressure quench my determination. I continue to practice my pronunciation under my breath while keeping two boys from either punching or squeezing each other and picking up the youngest boys shoes and socks off the floor all because we came to a halt. Yep, the line just keeps getting longer and it is almost my turn. Ah, there is the other sock, boys are punching again, Beau’s flinging his arms around, now Austin is tickling Loxley which is why Loxley is now screaming …. loudly. Beau stop swinging before you … oh too late. So sorry, perdon, perdon, ooh you are lucky you didn’t knock her coffee right out of her hands. Austin I said no tickling and definitely no peek-a-boo, I can’t concentrate with Loxleys half scream/laugh. Beau – seriously?? Those arms need to be strapped to your side – I wonder if I could legally do that?

Okay, here it is, ‘Buenos dias, puedo tener cappuccino soja descafeinado’. It’s not perfect I know but I am concentrating on pronouncing the main words and letting them fill in the bits and pieces and rearranging the grammar. You see, the other day I ordered six bottles of water. He asked me how many and I said ‘seis’. He looked confused so I said it again, and again and again. Then a kind gentleman stepped in on my behalf and said ‘seis’. Apparently all I had to say was ‘seis’. So my pronunciation obviously needed work.

Anyway, back to ordering my coffee. She repeats back to me everything but the descafeinado so I say it again to which she replies with a puzzled look, something I was becoming quite akin to. I attempted it two more times and then just gave up for the sake of the people waiting behind me but also for my own faith that I will one day speak this language.

I had resigned myself to drinking the real stuff, which I really wanted to anyway. Ever since my arrival, almost two weeks ago, I had been too scared to pronounce this word, so it was always ‘cappuccino’, but the problem was, I was becoming dependent on the caffeine and turning into a grouch until I had my coffee and I am already a grouch because the kids woke me at 5.30am so I really didn’t need to add to the mix, hence why today became the ‘pronounce descafeinado’ day.

Just when I thought I was going to enjoy one more day of the real stuff, it suddenly clicks and she asks ‘decaf?’

Our attempt at taking family photos in the park…

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6 thoughts on “Pronunciation day

  1. I remember days like that… standing in line at the bank, or the post office, or wherever in France and “rehearsing my lines” in my head before it was my turn. They always sounded so much more polished and correct in my head. Then I would open my mouth, and they would know I wasn’t from around there… lol 🙂

    1. We arrived in spring but it is still cold and the temp doesn’t vary much between day and night. We joke each morning that it looks like it’s going to ‘another’ overcast day. We won’t see the sky until summer because of the fog and it never rains here so we feel pretty capable of predicting the weather. Even in Australia the sun could thaw you out, not here, not yet, we haven’t seen it. But, in preparation for next winter I will shop for boots, boots and more boots along with alpaca clothes because the quality of merchandise here are second to none.

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