Now that the new year is here it is time for all of us who resolved to improve our Spanish to get to work. I was talking about this yesterday with the foreman of our shop, Eduardo Conejo. In English his name would be Eddie Rabbit because “conejo” means rabbit in Spanish. The Conejo family of Salamanca, Guanajuato is a very large family and the joke around here is that they are aptly named. We call Eduardo “Lalo” which is the hipocoristic (nickname) for Eduardo. Over the years he has helped me with my Spanish and I am helping him to learn English. He is doing fairly well but his family is lagging behind. His kids are studying English in school but it isn't going very well and his wife doesn't have the same desire to learn as he does. In fact she has little or no interest at all in learning English. I have seen this quite a bit and when one spouse starts learning another language the other feels pressured and a bit marginalized and this can lead to tensions in the family...any family.
Lalo and I decided that one course of action that he could try would be to make a game out of it and concentrate on just one area of English until everyone got in the groove and felt comfortable with it. We decided to start with the one area of family life where everyone enters the discussion on an almost daily basis and that is homework. I prepared the following phrases for use in a dialog and he is going to learn it with his wife and kids and whenever they talk about homework they must talk in English. He is going to try and make this a fun game for the whole family to participate in and see if he can draw his wife into it enough so that she feels comfortable. Perhaps little by little they can branch out from there without anyone feeling that they have been left behind. I am sharing this dialog with my readers in case someone out there would like to practice their Spanish with us. The phrases pretty much stand by themselves or you can mix and match them. Have fun and be nice. I am willing to bet that you hear the echo of your own parents in the words because that is where I got them. They are the echos of my Mom and Dad that still linger in my ear.
¿Qué te dejaron de tarea?
What did they give you for homework?
Let me see it.
Muéstrame tu tarea.
Show me your homework.
A ver. Si es de matemáticas y si tienes alguna duda puedo ayudarte.
Let's see. If it is math and if you have doubts about it I can help you.
¿Para cuando es tu tarea?
When is your homework due?
¿Ya hiciste tu tarea?
Did you do your homework already?
¿Estás haciendo tu tarea?
Are you doing your homework?
¿Por qué no hiciste tu tarea?
Why didn’t you do your homework?
¿Por qué no estás haciendo tu tarea?
Why aren’t you doing your homework?
Después de hacer tu tarea puedes jugar.
After you do your homework you can play.
Tu tarea está mal.
Your homework is no good.
Házla de nuevo.
Do it over again.
¡Ten más cuidado con tu tarea!
Be more careful with your homework!
Concéntrate en lo que estás haciendo, fíjate bien.
Concentrate on what you are doing, pay attention.
La letra esta horrible, no se entiende nada.
The writing is very bad. It can't be understood.
¡Estos números no son correctos!
These numbers are not correct!
No voy a hacer tu tarea para ti.
I’m not going to do your homework for you.
Ponte a trabajar. La tarea no se hace sola.
Get to work. Your homework isn’t going to get done by itself.
¿Qué dijo tu maestro(a) de tu tarea?
What did your teacher say about your homework?
Muy bien. Sacaste un 10 en tu tarea, felicidades.
Very good. You earned an excellent (100%) on your homework. Congratulations.
Si haces tu tarea, después de llegar de la escuela, no tendrás problemas para tu examen semestral y final.
If you do your homework right after you get home from school you won't have problems on your semester and final exams.
Ya que tienes el conocimiento fresco y lo reforzaste con tu tarea, tendrás tiempo de descansar y jugar un rato.
Now that the material is fresh in your mind and you reinforced it with homework you will have time to rest and play awhile.
Recuerda hijo(a), cumplir con tus tareas siempre y sacar buenas calificaciones. Ese es tu trabajo.
Remember son (or daughter) to always complete your homework and get good grades. This is your job.
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