Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Best Compliment

--Are you Cuban?
--No. I'm American.
--You're American? You speak Spanish very well!
(translated to English by ME!)

WHAT a wonderful compliment from a Hispanic woman! I was ecstatic!

Let me back up a little.... I finally got to speak Spanish at the hospital yesterday!

I had had one other opportunity before when there was a Hispanic baby there, but one of the nurses was very snippy to me when I told her I spoke Spanish. I was thinking that I could help out with the parents, and one of the other nurses had already said that they might need me. But this other nurse (in a whiny, making fun of me voice): "Ooooh, Ashlee speaks Spanish. Then she can talk to the baby and comfort the baby, and the baby can tell her what's wrong." She was not being nice -- the baby was too young to talk.

Yesterday, however, was much different. I was so excited that I had two different opportunities to work with Hispanic people yesterday at clinicals. I was in the room of a patient who was watching a cooking segment on the morning show on Univisión. They were making coffee candied nuts. They looked so good. The patient and I looked at each other, and I said, "Qué ricas!" -- Yum! She asked me if I spoke Spanish, and I told her I did. After listening to the show for a few more minutes, I asked her (in Spanish) if the chef was Cuban. I was curious to see if I recognized the chef's accent or not -- sometimes I can recognize them and sometimes I can't! She said that the chef was Cuban, asked me if I was Cuban, and told me that I spoke really good Spanish!

I would like to clarify and say that I do not sound like I'm a native Spanish speaker. I have decent accent, but not a native accent. In hearing my Spanish, one cannot tell I'm from south Georgia, but one can tell that I'm not Hispanic. Maybe the one or two things I had said to this woman sounded really good! Regardless, it's always a compliment when a native Spanish speaker tells me that I speak Spanish well. That and being asked by another nurse to translate for her with another family made my day! Now that the word is out, maybe I'll get more opportunities to help out!


AA said...

Woohoo!! But I am not surprised ;)

Courtney said...

I would have loved to have you this whole semester in Atlanta for my practicum! I am planning on learning Spanish least well enough to communicate on a very simple basis! Glad youre enjoying clinical though :) I hope to see you soon!