De Bess Ah Trini Speak, right Gee?

d5at5vc4VhV2C5nHKqUOXbbrEa9bzt2tDlI4kruynGQ3w1DJkiEbEWhCXTySmohpY5mll_p452RlsxkHhOHmkOoIGsNGoKTIhFMC2-bhCG190niLON8XpIY58bzAoNkOP3t0l6IeO1DJmb-lGWXd8OL_PXCjUd2NyWXdGEgAObAAGApv8tGPuNFC7-This post is not about the best of Trini speak. I haven’t heard enough yet to know what the best phrases might be. What I do know is that I don’t understand the English here in Port of Spain. I’d say that my comprehension is on par with my Spanish comprehension… well, they might be neck in neck. (I almost felt relief when talking to a guy in Spanish! If three sentences counts as talking.)

O7tnlozpiesZQVkRsgbN-YAZCiOfUGKqPG1JrEGLDP7wo2e1O0NIJB4KKmDMprkNsfBe4Y5Sw2PbeFNd88z4poVZequPmHYlQQzDN7XNJ5ZHTCvheigC1fP9hl9cgsUiJKnq2HMwsgLKfzXmvoYJEtfzSYoDGcbEWJrFgT98LSn8wFP9rYXN-kwEOiThe Trinis tell me that it’s because they speak fast. No, they don’t. They use different vocabulary, different grammar, different spelling, and they have a different cadence. In other words, a different language. They remove “then” and other prepositions (is that what they are called?). Or how about “the best food in tongue” which must mean “best tasting” or not?

UTtPySP7d8oXMjrGTNIwtw3GqjuVg4T1Yi3Vk_sdcVlqM07fg6lhuihChp8DzJfNVasHaottV5tj35NPcK1xEveB1pxMHcCbPW2pqM_K1LFf91wyGrqkS8UUwXUEsksFLryVHPTqPik4Gu2jJo4tZw-Pv0n4kkD8fTya5cm5jZmuRU8oEGL16KmHWCOther than terminology like “lime” and “whine” there are many other words in daily life that are used which I can’t recall right now. I wish I could. One phrase that I wrote down was, “A good bit of us” for “there are a lot of us.” Sounds like British but without the accent.

The food vocabulary is easy to learn (bodi is long green beans) as that’s a matter of memorization, and many of the words have an origin that is typical of Trinidad’s cultural influences. Bodi probably originates from the Hindi word and was likely introduced by the South Asians.

atdjzIOw3_8VhLbOHW663vXaoc0FLR15Nmfdy7KGhxt36Uvtr_e4mVN-MYHz6QT8YXKVqHsXyDrCoujwOfxDfAaEzuTuH_wR_SKNlOQe72QdC8rAzEwoVjZ2PjKvqGZCvQ0XZJF1seKPTrmnkcMWgY2fZf7VXS1019ctBSs3HvZdyJgNSGyjfRp1gyAnd then there’s the spelling. See that “best” is now a woman’s name, “bess.” And “ah” for “of” as can be seen in the soup sign.

Linguists could have a field day.

Ya dam right gee. For de bess ah tongue.

Or something like that. I have no idea! Habla espanol?

Best Hair Colorist and Hair Dresser for Expats in Bogota

IMG_1122Her name is Reiko, she’s Japanese, and she speaks very good English. Plus, I have seen the hair that she colors and I would never have guessed that the hair was anything but natural.

She works independently out of the French hair dressing salon in Atlantis mall up on the third or fourth floor. She is the first hair dresser who knew instinctively how to cut my hair. For a simple hair cut the price was 70,000 (I think).

Artfully Learning Fun(ny) Spanish

La esposa y las esposas.
” La esposa y las esposas.

Learning a new language (and culture) is both fun, and sometimes, funny. The general assumption about Spanish is that you can put an “o” on the end of the wordo (see, like that) and that this “o” will make it Spanish. Lots of the words are the indeed the same or similar in English and Spanish. These are called cognates. An example is dictionary: diccionario. Looks the same, must be the same. But, how easily one can land, mouth on foot! Here are some other words and phrases that can make for sticky or embarrassing situations (does my quick doodle better illustrate the point?).

“embarrazado” = to be a pregnant man (the “o” means that you are a man). To be embarrassed is “avergonzado” which makes me think about modern journalism being “gonzo”…
“las esposas” = the wives or handcuffs (useful if you are talking about two or more wives or handcuffs). Perhaps somehow related to “ball and chain?”

Also, today is “martes trece” or “Tuesday the 13th” which is the equivalent to “Friday the Thirteenth” — a day of bad luck, a day not to leave your house, not to start a new business, etc. in Spanish-speaking countries. Perhaps a day to stay indoors looking up funny cognates online. I am taking note of these as I go along, so if I get them wrong, please comment! I look forward to trying to avoid too many encounters of foot in mouth once I get to Colombia.