Some SpanGlish lessons

by Evans Yonson

one of my adult classes is in the seaport of barcelona. in this class of seven pre-intermediate level students, there is only one of the male species. his name is raymond.

raymond has a good grasp of the English language and he is a fast learner. he is good looking and looks like he goes to the gym regularly. it is no wonder that the girls get excited when he comes to class.

one day, we were talking about some parts of human body. we talked about body piercing, flat chests and stomachs, thick face and thick lips, and of course, well-built muscles. all eyes were on raymond now.

so, i asked him, ‘raymond, do you workout?’

with great confidence, he responded, ‘no! i work here.’

He works here. How about working with me?


(Some Spanish words and their English counterparts: dudar = to doubt; excitada = excited; quejar = to complain; desear = to wish.)

Most of my adult students have this propensity of thinking that some Spanish words can easily be translated to English by adding –tion at the end of the word. They always reason out that it’s Spanglish.

In yet another class I had before in the seaport of Barcelona, one of my eager students was a lovely woman named Montse. She is very active and the devil-may-care type of person.

Of course, I correct Montse politely and she takes my comment seriously and by heart. She makes it a point to write down the correct grammar and practice it at home or with the others in the office.

One Wednesday afternoon, Montse was in her best talking form. Committing mistakes one after another without being conscious of what she was talking about.

I jokingly said, ‘Montse, if you have some dudation about what you’re going to say don’t get excitadation or make quejation about the others. I deseation that you watch out with your grammaration.’

‘Okay, Evans, I’m taking notation.’

Very well said.

Taking down notes is really fun. Especially when you think in two languages at the same time.


While waiting for my class to start, I was smoking with two of my students outside the office.

One student talked about the time when he bought his son a translating machine.
He overheard his son memorizing some lines.

‘Hello. How are you? I’m fine, thank you.’

Eager to try out the machine, he put on the AAA batteries and typed in some words.

Hello. Hola.

How are you? Como estas?

I’m fine. Estoy multa.

‘Why would I be fined for asking just a simple question?,’ he asked in Spanish.

That was the first and the last time that the machine was put to use.

I'm fine. But you're fined. Not find?