Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hola de Costa Rica. My brain is fried. Frito. My family doesn´t speak English, and my profesora won´t speak English. She prefers to draw on the board until we figure it out. Nearly all day yesterday I thought she didn´t speak English, but she let it slip. I wonder -- (No semicolons today . . . I can´t find it on this computer keyboard and I don´t know the word for semicolon) -- don´t all these people get tired of speaking Spanish all day. At the end of the day, isn´t it possible that they go into their homes and speak English when no one else is listening (Just realized I also can´t find a question mark!) It´s beautiful here in central CR. Sunny all morning and rain in the afternoon. Even though it´s June, it is a mild climate. Lots of thunder, which I love. More later. Have to take turns at the school with the computer.


  • Foreign language in a foreign classroom ... gives a whole new meaning to the word "immersion," don't it?

    While you're there, ask someone why half of the question marks are upside-down, will you? I've always wanted to know that.

    By Blogger Keith Brenton, at 6/14/2005 02:24:00 PM  

  • Bueno! Tenga una buen dias!

    By Blogger David Michael, at 6/14/2005 02:25:00 PM  

  • !Y hola a ti desde Abilene!

    The colon is called "Dos puntos"
    and semi-colon "punto-coma" :o)

    Inverted question and exclamation marks announce a heads up re forthcoming question or....well, you get it. They're considered consistent with the use of open and closed quotations, et al. ;)

    Y...BRAVO familia y profesora!! :o)

    By Blogger Kathy, at 6/14/2005 02:58:00 PM  

  • No habla espanol? Don't drink the water!

    Taco, Burrito, Lasso, Cisco Kid and San Jose. There, see how much good my High School Spanish did me?

    Prayerful for you, brother!


    By Blogger David U, at 6/14/2005 03:07:00 PM  

  • In the lower right corner of your screen, there should be a little round icon with an "ES" (for "Espanol") in the middle. Right-click on it, then change it to English (an "EN" should appear if you've done it correctly). This will temporarily convert your keyboard back to one for the English language. You'll likely have to repeat that procedure anytime you open a new window. Good luck!

    By Blogger Matt Elliott, at 6/14/2005 06:35:00 PM  

  • I think it was Randy Harris who said learning a foreign language is like putting your hand on a table and hitting each finger repeatedly with a hammer.

    Good luck with that!

    By Blogger Jeff Slater, at 6/14/2005 07:38:00 PM  

  • Mike, I am so proud of your effort to learn Spanish. I know that I should learn more but I am embarrassed at my own efforts and tend to revert to hands and expression. I told you that I can get someone through labor in Spanish but sometimes the complications throw me off and sometimes patients look at me and laugh...that can be discouraging also. Maybe this will be the year that I try harder to communicate.
    grace to you in Costa Rica, Julie

    By Blogger julie, at 6/14/2005 08:42:00 PM  

  • I am with you on the thunder thing. There have been a few times lately when in Abilene we have gotten about "four inches of thunder" but no rain and I have still not been disappointed. There is something magical about it.

    By Blogger Val, at 6/14/2005 09:58:00 PM  

  • Ah Spanish...it's like they have a different word for everything.

    "el Jefe"

    By Blogger Larry, at 6/15/2005 01:39:00 AM  

  • Mike --

    Keep after it!

    Once I was sent to Mexico on business, my cohort assuring me, "You speak some Spanish, and they speak some English -- It'll work out great." Well, he was only right about the "some", which was more like "very little", and was about equal both ways.

    Gives new meaning to the word "mental exaustion". Isn't the voice of a friend or a family member a welcome sound at the end of the day? "Wow, English!"

    And as to flippant remarks in the USA like "Well those people are in this country, they need to just speak ENGLISH"... you won't easily tolerate those!

    We had a little thunder in Houston last night too.


    By Blogger mchristophoros, at 6/15/2005 05:35:00 AM  

  • Buena suerte en Costa Rica, Miguel! Believe me, I KNOW how frustrating it can be to have to communicate in a foreign language in a foreign country. When I stayed in Brasil with my friends, usually my friends spoke English but the rest of their families did not. I understand drawing on the board, using hand gestures, anything to try to communicate! But I have no doubt that you will get better and better each day, and though it's frustrating, the fact that your family and your professor won't speak in English to you will actually help you in the long run! My prayers are with you! Que Dios te bendiga mucho!

    By Blogger Heather A, at 6/15/2005 06:56:00 AM  

  • Mike-

    Just speak English slowly and loudly. That always works!

    Blessings! (just imagine that had been typed in Spanish, because I certainly can't do it in reality)

    By Blogger Matt, at 6/15/2005 08:11:00 AM  

  • Back during the dark ages, when I was four, I attended a French school in France where they only spoke French. (Go figure)

    I spent a lot of time in their equivelant of a "time out" chair while every student circled me, wagging their ears at me. Believe me, I knew I was in trouble, but seldom knew what for. Immersion eventually worked for me. Hope you catch on quicker than I did. : )

    By Blogger Serena Voss, at 6/15/2005 09:03:00 AM  

  • Dios te bendiga, Mike! I'm so proud of you for plunging into a whole different language and culture. During my week in Spain (Spring Break 2004), I definitely realized I hadn't retained much from high school either. Just remember, a "Buenas" or "Hola" and a friendly smile can work wonders. :)

    By Blogger Katie, at 6/15/2005 10:18:00 AM  

  • If you're trying to come up with a word while you're on the internet, this can be a helpful site:


    Not very practical in the classroom, but if it comes in handy, you have it.

    Anyway, just wanted to leave you some encouragement from one of your quiz-swapping buddies from Spanish I and II. I know you can do it. I've never stayed in a Spanish-speaking country longer than about a week, but I always am amazed when I get back how much it's possible to learn in just seven days, and I never quite realize how quickly I'm learning when I'm there. And I know it will be a great blessing for you in the future, when you can communicate with so many more of your brothers and sisters in their own native tongue. Que dios le bendiga!

    By Blogger Tara, at 6/15/2005 12:44:00 PM  

  • J Page of Highland here...Dios te bendiga, indeed!

    It doesn't feel like it now, but just wait until you get home...the great relief that the signs are all in English quickly turned to boredom for me upon my return from Czech Republic; I grew exhausted from being able to read every one!

    I hope that your visit breaks opens some opportunities at Highland when you get back...I was just asking the Living Jesus class if we had a Spanish ministry. They are going to hook me up with our new staff member (Joe) and so I'll see.

    Espero que su visita va a empezar paginas nuevas en la iglesia de nuestro Pane-oh! excuse me!-Senor...sometimes my Spanish still gets mixed with a little Czech now and then!

    Oh, by the way, does anybody know the Spanish translation of "Hang in there!"?

    Just for the record, those upside-down question marks are ABSOLUTELY COOL, since you know at the beginning of the sentence whether it's a question or not! English could use that and a few other things...

    By Blogger J Page, at 6/15/2005 12:45:00 PM  

  • J Page - how about -

    Adelante, querido amigo! Tu si puedes!

    By Blogger Kathy, at 6/15/2005 02:23:00 PM  

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