Saturday, August 23

lost in translation

We have a niece named Lita in Guatemala. Lita is, oh, let's say about eight years old with jet-black curls and plump, rosy lips. She's this tiny, gorgeous little girl. She's also a bit sassy in a sweet, unexpected kind of way.

It's going to put her squarely in the middle of Trouble when she's older.

So every once in a blue moon we get a call from Lita. Extra cell phone minutes, no rollover, something about her dad, blah blah blah. She says this all in Spanish to Raphael, so I don't really know the full story.

Anyway, she called yesterday to tell Raphael happy birthday (while also using up some of those pesky minutes) and at one point, he handed the phone to me:

Jenny: Hello!!!

Lita: (something)


Jenny: How are you?

Lita: (something something something)

Jenny: What?

Lita: I am fine thank you and you.

Jenny: I'm fine too, thank you.


Jenny: Are you practicing English?


Jenny: (more slowly) Are you practicing English?

Lita: Yes.

Jenny: It's very good.


Jenny: Do you want to talk to Raphael?


Jenny: Um...hablas--

Raphael: Quieres...

Jenny: Quieres hablar a Raphael?

Lita: Si.

She was a little more shy than she is in person, but there was the language barrier, and she is only eight. I shook my head, chuckling fondly at her adorable girlie-ness as I handed the phone back to Raphael.

I could tell that she was less shy with him, because he kept laughing delightedly out loud at whatever she was saying. I assumed they were discussing ponies and glittery butterfly stickers or maybe the increasingly high cost of her cellular plan or something. But it turns out I was way off. Way off.

Apparently sweet, shy little Lita spent the whole time telling Raphael dirty jokes. Which she then insisted he translate for me.

The funniest joke went (from what I was able to gather) something like this: "So if you were a guy and p*** p*** p*** p*** ha ha ha! p*** p*** and also p*** ha ha! Get it? Oh come on! It's funny! Okay, maybe not so much in English."

P*** is the Spanish word for sh**, in case you're trying to work out the punchline.

Trouble better watch the heck out.

No comments: