Se Habla Español

That’s the title, because there’s a little españoling in this post. Because I’m looking for stuff to write about. Only the second post of the year and we’re more than halfway through Q1!!

  • So, I’ve started teaching conversational Spanish. Kind of fell into it. There are a lot of people who’ve asked me to teach them Spanish, and I’ve always said no, because I’d spend the whole class saying “Ay dios mío!” and slapping them upside the head. I only have patience for children. Okay – let me back up.
  • A couple of years ago, upon being encouraged by my employer for the 6 years before that to get any education or development that I chose, I finally said “maybe I can get a translation certification”. They were down. And so I set about that. But good god, I had no time to go to school or anything like that (hellooooo single motherhood) – and it turns out you just have to take a test. So I took one. And I failed. BUT the good news from the test takers was that of everyone who failed, I had the highest score. This was a comfort to me, okay. It’s not that I can’t translate, I just didn’t understand what the expectations were – these guys wanted a complete literal translation, which I thought made it sound too awkward, so I made it sound nice in the translation. Big no no. Live and learn.
  • Boss was amused that I’d failed, told me to keep trying, and that he’d pay for it again. So I signed up again. And then forgot I had. Let me back up.
  • So, I had tickets to a hockey game. The free kind. In a corporate suite. With open bar. And I hadn’t paid for the test myself, and I’d failed the first time after feeling that I’d done so well, so I didn’t exactly have my hopes up. So anyway, I woke up on the Saturday morning with the “axe head” (as we say in Chile – I’ll add that to the vocab list for my students) – generally preferring death to the hangover. Then my iPhone bee-bee-beeped a little reminder at me and I almost smashed it to smithereens. Wait. THE TEST. TODAY. NAY, NOT JUST TODAY…IN TWO HOURS. Ay dios mío!!!
  • So fine. I can do this. I went to the test-taking place, smelling “like an ambulance” (as we say in Chile) (lexicon list!), barely managing my 28 pounds of dictionaries/thesauruses (thesauri?) and plopped myself into the chair. There was about 30 of us in the room. Everyone was taking different tests, different languages. I felt sorry for the fellow at my table, because I’m telling you, there’s a strong possibility that I was still inebriated.
  • This isn’t turning into the best advertisement for my fledgling little business. Look, I passed fair and square, okay.
  • That’s right. I PASSED. I took the damn test, flew through it, checked it, remembered I had to literally translate so it sounded unnatural, and that stuff I learned the last time. And was the first one out of the room. On account of I thought I might hurl and I was also really worried for my poor table partner. There’s no way I smelled good. I hate test rooms, too. Badly. And I decided to just not tell anyone about the test. Had no expectation of passing and just decided to put the whole translation certification thing behind me. Then get home and eat a really greasy meal. Pronto.
  • I was out at lunch with a friend 6 weeks later. Had the spinach salad at the Cactus Club. They know how to make a salad. Of course, I also had a side of fries. Because OF COURSE. I always ask for a “fun dip” with fries. I think that time they gave me truffle oil mayo. RECOMMEND. I digress.
  • Again, news received thanks to my iPhone. I passed. He knew the whole story. We spent the next 10 minutes non-stop laughing our asses off.
  • No seriously – I’m a good translator. Hire me, you won’t be sorry.
  • Anyway, a couple of months ago, the translating head contact guy told me he’d been contacted by a couple who wanted, specifically, a Chilean national to teach them conversational Spanish for a few months before they moved to Chile. He put them in touch with me. I was all “qué?” and he was all “arriba!” so I did it.
  • There’s isn’t much to it. They’re already at a good level of comprehension so basically we sit and talk for 2 hours. I finally, finally, FINALLY found a job that PAYS. ME. TO TALK.
  • It’s not a real job mind you, my real jobs of kids and office continue to be my thing, but I’ve translated a few things (professionally, for once), taught a few classes, and have more classes lined up after these students. And I really love it. So you never know.
  • There was no real reason for this post to be in bullet form. But I’m not reformatting now.
  • What’s a good company name for me? For real. Suggestions welcome.
  • Oh, btw…the Habs have lost 2 in a row. But hey. We can go 17-4 for the rest of the season, no crees?? Keep the dream alive! Ha ha ha! Ha ha! *sob*

Hasta la próxima, baby!

**I’m actually  a really good  translator **



  1. Very interesting post, as usual. Always great to hear how you excel at life! For a company name, how about Chil-Can Communications CCC acronym or if you want to be more subtle Chil-Can Translations CCT???


  2. • I always love reading your blogs!
    • Especially the ones with a happy ending! Hooray!
    • I even love the bullet points 🙂


  3. Epic! I’m hooked…
    Name: Hasta la Vista “No Hablo Espanol” Instituto


  4. Congrats – proud of you


  5. How very very awesome. Congrats!


  6. Veronica’s Verdad? Just an idea.


  7. You definitely have to incorporate “chile pepper” in your business name. Or them. Or something. 🙂


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