Wednesday, June 6

"Tank you very much"

Speaking English is something Costa Ricans take a lot of pride in. I really didn't realize how important speaking English was to the locals. Of course, there are some that dig in their heels and NEVER want to learn (just like the Gringos refuse to learn Spanish) but most are happy to share what English they know with you. Since this is a tourist town, they know by speaking English they will be the most helpful to the most tourist and in turn, receive the best pay.

Most cannot pronounce "th" very well. Words like birthday end up sounding like "birday". My favorite tongue twister is to ask them to say - "this, that and the other" when they poke fun at my southern drawl slaughtering of the Spanish language. To repeat this, that, and the other really stumps most of them. Did you know, Spanish is spoken differently, with different accents, even different words, by people from different Spanish speaking countries? Actually, most words that require the use of the front teeth are spoken incorrectly by "Spanish speakers". My theory is they didn't have front teeth eons ago so that's why the "th" and sounds requiring the front teeth (like "v") are not in their language. Just a theory.

Another phrase most Costa Ricans know is "where you from". They may not know much else in English but they have learned that this breaks the ice and begins the conversation. It's a well used pick-up line.

I've always been perplexed by people's answer to that question, "where are you from". Having been born and raised in Southwest Florida, I was always surprised when someone with a thick Bostonian accent would answer, "Florida". It seemed that once they had bought property, gotten a Florida driver's license and a license plate, they "were from Florida". If that's the case, from now on I'm going to tell people "I am from Costa Rica. Tank you very much."

2 comments:

La Gringa said...

We were in a new restaurant the other day and I was taking photos in case I might want to blog about it so of course I looked like a tourist.

The owner asked where we were from? Having lived in La Ceiba for 7 1/2 years, I felt I was entitled to say "La Ceiba." ;-) She looked confused and said that I had a bit of an accent so she thought I might have been from somewhere else. Hahahah!

(Still haven't found the pickup truck photo, but I'm enjoying myself. Love your blog!)

TICA MACHA said...

Thank you for your comment from Honduras. I still believe we live parallel lives.