Sunday, November 15, 2009

Off topic

For those who don't know me, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or commonly known as the Mormons. Generally, members of the church attend a congregation based on where they live. My family and I have have been asked by the local leaders to attend a Spanish speaking congregation. My wife plays the organ. I work with the youth. Neither one of us speak Spanish, though. I speak Portuguese, which allows me to understand well enough, and my wife took a year of Spanish in high school and is doing a good job understanding what is going on, but neither of us have much of a vocabulary.

As members, we all take turns speaking in front of the congregation on various topics assigned to us. We have no paid clergy. We all have a chance to teach and be taught by one another. It turns out, after 3 months in the Spanish congregation, the leaders thought it should be our turn. Where did we turn?, the church website has a lot of resources that are already translated. So if you can find something on topic in English all you have to do is find the same thing in Spanish. After cobbling together various passages of scripture and other quotes, it was time to write the filler. That's where Google Translate comes in. We'd write out what we wanted to say in English then translate it into Spanish. It works surprisingly well. After a bit of editing (hurrah for Portuguese grammer being very similar to Spanish) we were good to go. All we had to do was show up and read.

Our 4-year-old has spent the last few months getting a lot of coloring time during the services, as she doesn't understand any Spanish at all. And since she never hears my wife and I speak Spanish (usually done after she's in bed), our daughter has no idea that we can.

So during the services, my wife was at the pulpit speaking, and our daughter looks up, realizes it's her mom. Then she realizes that she can't understand her mom. Then points and says, in a not so quiet voice, "SPANISH." Nothing else. No other comments before return calmly to her coloring, while her 1-year-old sister pays no attention and continues her double fisted eating of the raisins.


  1. Sounds like its time for Spanish lessons :-)

  2. It probably is. She is increasingly asking how to say things in Spanish. And even speaking Spanish, "okshkekeshushida, that's how I say it in Spanish."