Yesterday was the third class.
So far, I've learned:
- some basic phrases,
- telling time,
- days of the week,
- months of the year,
- seasons, and
- a host of nouns
Yesterday, we started conjugating verbs.
We started with the verbs ending in AR.
For my fellow Canadians who were forced to take French in school, you know the drill.
Drop the AR and add the appropriate ending.
There are several pages in our workbook that we're working from.
There are lists of sentences with a blank in each sentence.
In the margin is the root verb which we must conjugate.
We're going through the list and Señora Sierra is writing on the blackboard.
She calls on each of us one at a time to read out loud.
We must conjugate the verb and translate the sentence.
Or at least take a crack at it.
For the most part, she has her back to us and is writing on the board.
Then we come to this sentence:
[preguntar] Ella ___________ la hora.
Now, for those of you not in the know, preguntar is the verb "to ask" and hora means time. Ella means she or her. Stands to reason that this sentence will probably translate to She asks the time. Or something to that effect.
Señora Sierra asks Buddy behind me to conjugate this sentence.
Which he does.
After conjugating the verb, Señora Sierra asks "¿Qué significa?" (What does it mean?)
Now either Buddy wasn't paying attention or he simply became flustered at having to answer the question, but all he seemed to focus on was the word hora. Not surprising, since we had just learned how to tell time. So he says "What time is it?"
Señora Sierra glances over her shoulder as she's writing and drawls out in her strong Columbian accent "Nooooo", with a slight lilt at the end. She smiles at him to prompt him to try again and reads the question herself: Ella pregunta la hora.
"Oh!" he exclaims, as though a big light bulb has gone off over his head. "When are you going to be pregnant?!" And he said it with such conviction as if to say, 'of course that's what it means, why didn't I see that?'
Everyone in the class burst out laughing.
Señora Sierra whirls around, her face is beet red, and the look of mingled shock and embarrassment was absolutely priceless.
Eyes wide, she stammers: "¿¡Qué!?"
Which made us all laugh even harder.
The girl sitting beside him whispered the proper translation to him.
Hard to say who was redder, Buddy or Señora.