The “J” of Spanish

Only two more days before Diego returns to school at his Spanish immersion program. During the winter break we’ve kept busy with holiday festivities, and we’ve had fun playing card games, board games and video games. We’ve also continued to practice his Spanish vocabulary whenever we can.

Diego’s Spanish has improved so much since he started the immersion program last year in kindergarten. He is so proud of himself and continues to remind us how, during a Spanish vocabulary drill on a family car ride,  he came up with the word for “pillows” before his 15 year-old sister, Olivia. Olivia,  who is in a high school Spanish II honors class, does not like to be reminded of that moment she was stumped by her 6 year-old brother.

This morning Diego tried to stump me with his own Spanish challenge.

D: “Mommy, what is the word for pencil?”

Me: Lápiz.

D: “Mommy, what is the word for paper?”

Me: Papel.

D: “How do you say “desk?’

Me: “Escritorio.”

D: “Noooo…It’s PUPITRE!!”

Me: “WHAT? Well, there are two ways to say “desk” in Spanish!”

An argument ensued, where I tried to redeem my Spanish fluency  in front of my little linguist. I lost. Diego offered some words of sympathy and encouragement.

“That’s okay Mommy. You can be the “J” of Spanish.”

What is the “J” of Spanish? I thought of all the Spanish vocabulary words which begin with “J” and could possibly mean, “Beginner,” “Novice,” “Loser.” Diego reminded me that we had been playing War with a deck of cards the other day, and he explained:

Daddy is the King. I am his Bodyguard and you are “J.”

“J?” I am only the Jack? Doesn’t a King need a Queen?

Diego tried to offer me more encouragement, “When you learn more Spanish you can be the Queen.”

Hmmp! I only hope that my Spanish will improve and I will be made Queen.  In the meantime, I may just stick to challenging Diego to games of War instead of Spanish vocab challenges.

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4 responses to “The “J” of Spanish

  1. At least the “J” wasn’t for Joker. It could have been worse! LOL

    How fun that you have a blog, too! What a lovely surprise. Thanks for finding me. And ..ugh on thinking of when my kids are teenagers. I dread it…

    Happy New Year!

  2. Yes, I realize that now, and I am glad J wasn’t for joker! Happy New Year to you too!

  3. I still don´t understand how you lost to Escritorio?!! :)

    Those type of challenges will keep coming along because of all the ways to say the same thing in Spanish. Is his teacher from El Salvador? We say Pupitre in ES.
    love your stories!!

    • I lost to “escritorio” because I began to think I had the word wrong and my Spanish speaking husband wasn’t around to back me up. It turns out Diego’s teacher is Anglo but studied and taught Spanish in Guatemala. So I guess Diego is getting his Spanish with a Guatemalan flair. My husband is Colombian and my grandparents are from Mexico. Oh, and my step-daughter’s mother is half Cuban and half Mexican. It makes for an interesting diaglouge! Thanks, Ana, for stopping by!!

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