I have a story about learning Spanish…..
I took a couple Spanish courses in high school and enjoyed it, so when I went to uni for languages, I took a bunch more. I was to the point where I could have decent conversations in the classroom, and could understand a fair bit.
One year my parents and I are in a Florida supermarket. My mom is searching for her butter-like margarine that will melt when she puts it on toast. Now if you knew my mom, you’d know this was very important to her….. 😀 So I go to ask the guy stocking the shelves, but he indicates he only speaks Spanish. So, being the educated lady I am, I start to speak Spanish with him. The only problem was, I didn’t know how to say “butter”. It had never come up in my school teachings about El Cid or Spain or any other normal topic taught in Spanish courses. To make matters worse, I also didn’t know the word for toast, or melt.
What I did know was the words for ‘hot bread’ and a heckuva lot of hand gestures.
The poor stock clerk had no idea what I was talking about and soon, he had a couple coworkers trying to understand me and my crazy-talk, and finally he beckoned his English-speaking boss over, who recommended a kind to my ever-persistent mother.
For that reason, I will never forget the Spanish word for butter ever again: mantequilla 😀