spanish for beginners. and english for dogs

at 7am it’s dark here. well, pitch dark. properly dark with some big gaps in street lamps, presumably because the towpath is run by british waterways and it’s not a “street”. there are lamps where there are buildings, but a really dark bit as you get to the park. 7am, for anyone who doesn’t usually witness it, is actually a time when people commute. and not millions, but some people ON BIKES use this towpath. and i have a dark hazardous dog.

i usually put a sparkly light on her collar so she can be seen, but i forgot, this morning.

anyway, no cyclists were drowned in the making of this post. i did however have a strange encounter with a walker in the park. okay. so it is dark, and poppet is dark, and she is a dog, and quite quiet, so i can get how having her skip merrily/EMERGE FROM THE DARKNESS towards you could be disconcerting.

here’s the bit where i give you advice. whether you are foreign or not, surely to god you can think of a better thing to shout than “HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! HEY! HEY! HEY!”?

because, in poppet’s world, much like many other dog’s world, that sounds like encouragement. it just does.

nothing against teh foreigns. i have been foreign many times myself.

here’s what  spanish i know; si (yes) no (no) soy (i am) muy (most) ambivalente (ambivalent) jamón (ham) bano  – sp? (bathroom) and lo siento (sorry). i learned jamón while i was there, miming and pointing, because the spanish sure know how to eat ham, and you certainly want to have what they’re having. also lo siento, though i was told i was using it wrongly. the spanish only use that to say “i apologise” not the way the english use sorry as if it were pepper – their word for that is triste which i just had to look up, since i am probably quite rude and mainly want ‘sorry’ for actual apologies.

so there you have it! you don’t need ambivalente, i learned that for my own reasons – and because it’s virtually the same as in english i remembered it.

if you find yourself being a bit foreign somewhere and you have an unwanted dog bounding up to you, my advice is not to say hello or hey. or to shout. say no. even say sorry if you have it, but don’t give a dog a mixed message, you’ll fuse it’s head.

end of public service announcement. i hope my lesson in spanish for people who don’t mind miming a lot but draw the line at “bathroom” is helpful to you, and also the lesson in talking to dogs.

that’s all the skills i want to share right now. the sun is coming up and i need to eat breakfast or i will never win a campervan.

5 responses to “spanish for beginners. and english for dogs

  1. My grandmother firmly believed that all ducks could be summoned by calling ‘Duckduckduckduck’ in a falsetto voice. I think it’s worth trying this with other animals and other languages.

    • and why not?

      when i take poppet out in the morning a swan normally comes over, and i say “hello swan”. there is no way of telling if this is the same swan and s/he’s keen to make friends or if it is one of 20 swans who think that if you are picking up dog poo you *might* be picking up BREAD for them. (often, they are wrong, but there is often bread on the towpath, and i do chuck it in.)

  2. yeah, if a dog you don’t know comes up to you, and you dont want to encourage it, step 1 is not talking. (Step 2 would be not trying to pet it. ). Now I have an picture of the puppy with some sort of dance club glow necklace on – just so you know.

    In my parents neighborhood, there was a very friendly chow/akita mix that would get loose and come down to our house (we would find him, among other things, sleeping in our garage during hot days). The first time I meant him it was pitch black out, I stepped off the porch and had a HUGE BLACK BEAST standing there,chest high. All I could see where his eyes and teeth. Once I climbed back into my skin, I realized he was wagging his tail and panting very happily (tongue was black, so I didn’t see that either right away).

    I love dogs. But dear gods, that terrified me for a moment.

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