Paul knows Spanish and is very fluent in speaking but I am not and was happy to learn that the SMTC (Senior Missionary Training Center) would give Spanish lessons via Skype to those preparing to serve a Spanish speaking mission.
While taking these Skype tutoring lessons, I was asked to write a paragraph using verbs in their preterit form of past tense. For some reason I decided to write about when we lived on the ranch in Idaho. This was many years ago and we only had four children at the time and the youngest was about a year old.. We lived in a home at the foot of a hill and there were open fields that stretched out from the house past the trout stream and onto another hill. It was a wonderful place. However we knew that those fields would fill with cattle in the fall when Grandpa would bring them home from the mountains. We built a sturdy fence around our home to protect our children and our home from the cattle that each weighed 600 or 800 pounds. I wondered if the children would be afraid of the cattle. That question was answered for me when one day when I looked out the window and saw the cattle running across the fields in fear. I saw the reason for their fright and it was because three very small children were running after the cattle shouting and waving their arms. I found it interesting that the children were not afraid of the big cattle but that the big cattle were afraid of the little children.
After I had written up this paragraph and had translated the story into Spanish, I decided to stick the entire story into Google Translate to see how I had done with my Spanish. One Spanish word for cattle is “ganado” and I just about spelled it correctly. I only added an extra “r” after the “g” and the word became “granado.” This wasn’t a huge mistake but it did make a definite difference. Instead of my telling about cattle in the fields and cattle being chased by the children, I said that the children were chasing pomegranates!
Learning a second language is a definite challenge for me and I am sure that I will have many “pomegranate” days ahead of me!