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Rant #403
(published October 9, 2008)
Direct Translations of Six Phrases I Used in Costa Rica
by David Erik Nelson
<< Perdoname, doña, ¿usted tiene una machina para eliminar el sombrero de mi coca-cola? >>
"Pardon me, madam; do you have a machine for to use to eliminate the hat from my coca-cola?"
(August 6, convenience store, village of Brasil de Mora)

<< Nosotros visitamos a Costa Rica porque tenemos una amiga, y hay la ocasion en que una mujer y un hombre cambian a esposos, ¿claro? >>
"We visit Costa Rica because we have a lady friend, and there is the occasion when a woman and a man become a wife and a husband; right?"
(August 11, bar made out of a cargo plane, on the road to Manuel Antonio National Park)

<< Este perro, no le gusto. >>
"This dog, I do not please her."
(August 14, on the streets of the industrial port town of Quepos)

<< ¡Una abeja! ¡La púa de una abeja as en el ojo de me niño! >>
"A bee! The hook of a bee is in the eye of my son!"
(August 21, in the bee-infested gardens of the primary school of Brasil de Mora)

<< ¡Hielo, por favor! ¡Hielo por el ojo! ¡Encontra mi esposa, la mujer gringa con los pantolones verdes! ¡Y dame hielo por el ojo! Ese es . . . ¿mantequilla? >>
"Ice please! Ice for the eye! Find my wife, the American woman in the green pants! And bring me ice for the eye! That is . . . butter?"
(August 21, in the bee-infested gardens of the primary school of Brasil de Mora; Costa Ricans typically apply butter to bee stings to prevent swelling)

<< ¿Usted habla ingles? >>
"Do you speak English?"
(August 5-25, inclusive)

Note: David Erik Nelson spent most of August 2008 in Costa Rica with his wife and two-year-old son. As it turns out, his toddler is not allergic to bee stings. At one time, in the distant past, Mr. Nelson spoke Spanish proficiently, studied abroad in South America, translated poetry, and helped a medical-relief team serving Hispanic migrant laborers.

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