Thursday, April 21, 2011

anatomy of a peruvian email

Me: Did you get the email about Brady's graduation?

(Side note: Kindergarten graduation here is a BIG deal. It is already being extensively planned 8 months out.)

Blake: The one in all caps?

Me: Yep. Could you understand it?

Blake: Um, no.

Me: Neither could Google Translate. Apparently, he used a bunch of slang and abbreviations. What I understood is that it is from one of the parents and he was saying the graduation date is unacceptable.

Blake: The school warned me that parents feel very strongly about how kindergarten graduation should be done.

Me: Well, I guess I just keep being the super-sensitive Americana. I still haven't adjusted to how Peruvians communicate.

Blake: Don't forget to pay the $50 to rent Brady's graduation outfit. And you paid to rent Brady's Mother's Day outfit, right? Anything else important in the email?

Me: Let me look. This may be important, "Thanks to all the other mothers, fathers, and put the batteries, as the union is strength."

Blake: Got it.

Me: And he called the three mothers organizing the graduation the Power Puff Girls.

Blake: Awesome. I will call this graduation a success if we show up on the right date, at the right time, in the right place.

Me: Truer words have never been spoken.

(This type of conversation is normal around our house since almost every day we get a note or email (in Spanish of course) from one of the schools. Emails are a gift because I can cut and paste into Google Translate. Notes mean I have to re-type the entire thing for translation. Sometimes just to find out the school won an architecture award. Other times I decide we don't need to buy a school shirt only to have the form returned with a message that we have to buy a school shirt.)

3 comments:

Rachel K. said...

This just made my day! I remember going through a similar process of ridiculous confusion when I lived in the Dominican Republic for a summer, working with Younglife (Vida Joven) -- direct translations of slang got very confusing -- for example: there, pavito is a nap, it also means "little turkey." Obviously makes sense, right?

Roy said...

Sarah you should post some words that google can't translate to you so we can help you
Rachel K. here in Peru Pavito means dummy (as in stupid) or Dorky, Nerdy and also Obviously "little turkey"

Breanne said...

I'm COMING... I will translate for you and leave you with more information than you ever wanted to know. I may very well also insert my own snide remarks :) SEE YOU SOOOONNNNN.