Spanish

The Tuna Singers of Salamanca

Visions of large fish leaning into a microphone may come to mind. The word Tuna is misleading. In Spain, these are musicians dressed in medieval garb who play guitar, mandolin, or tambourine, and harmonize. The Tuna tradition started 700 years ago at the newly created Spanish universities. Starving students would play music in order to […]

Read more
Living Abroad, Spanish

Love Note to Chilean Food

The day we landed in Santiago, Chile, Evan and I went out to lunch. I was confident I’d order food proficiently, after studying Spanish for years. The café’s chalkboard menu  listed sanguiches, ensaladas, and jugos naturales. I translated these three easily for Evan, sandwiches, salads and fresh juices. Then came two words that stumped me. […]

Read more
Spanish

7 Tips for a Good Vacation

When I started taking trips, I packed until I had outfits, shoes, and scarves coming out of my ears. At 20, I lugged along 7 suitcases to spend an autumn in Toledo, Spain! I thought that the quantity I took with me would ensure success in any situation. I was very wrong. Too many bags […]

Read more
Spanish, Study Abroad

Conquered by Food

When I traveled to Spain, I thought the food might resemble Mexican cuisine with its spiciness. However, black pepper was the most piquant seasoning in the Fundación Ortega y Gasset kitchen in Toledo. I was happy not to burn my tongue, but my Mexican roommate imported a suitcase full of hot sauce to survive the […]

Read more
Spanish, Study Abroad

Joke’s On Me

Learning to converse in another language keeps me humble. Beginning with English, as a child I made up funny words. I’d call the small blue round Midwestern fruit, bluebodies. My father’s bluebody pancakes were and still are a family favorite. In first year high school Spanish, I wanted to say, “I’m embarrassed” Tengo vergüenza. Instead […]

Read more
Spanish, Study Abroad

The Señora’s Advice

When I was fourteen, I went to Mexico City on a high school Spanish trip. Our teacher who was born in Mexico told us what to expect. Her advice to the boys was, no pink shirts, or people will think you’re gay and gays aren’t accepted. I sputtered in disbelief when she said that. I […]

Read more