Saturday, April 13, 2013


L is for llamarse.  Spanish lesson 101.

Llamarse literally means "to call oneself."  So when you're introducing yourself you say yo me llamo fulano or literally, I call myself whatever.  In my case it's yo me llamo Shawn.  Now, to us Anglo-Saxons around the world, this is an easy name.  It's fairly common (even though not typically used for females, I know), contains sounds we're familiar with, and we recognize immediately its Irish roots.  But here?  Let me reenact a typical conversation when I first meet someone.

Me:  Hola.  Yo me llamo Shawn.

Them:  Chon?

Me:  No.  Shawn.

Them:  Chom?

Me:  No.  Shawn.  Put your mouth together like you're telling someone to be quiet. Shhhhhhhhhhawn!

Them:   Shhhhhhhhh Chom!

Me:  Fine.  Yo me llamo Chon.

Them:  So you're Chinese?

Me:  (*sigh* I am so obviously NOT Asian) No, actually, it's an Irish name.  I'm of Irish descent.

Them:  hmmmmm (looking at me suspiciously as if I don't know my own heritage)

You see, Spanish doesn't carry the "sh" sound and trying to explain to Central Americans why we call ourselves Italian, Irish, or German when we were never actually born there.....well, son otro cien pesos.


  1. I had heard the sh sound isn't carried in Spanish -- kind of like th in French. Very interesting posts.

    Jan at Website
    Beyond Acadia
    Swamp Lily Review
    Faith Talk

  2. So funny! It must be frustrating for you though.

    1. Depends on my mood. I either sigh or gigle.

  3. that madae me giggle. Red headed, tall Chinese CHON!

  4. I love learning languages but I start to lose it when I spend too much time not using it. I'm still pretty good at reading in Spanish, but I'm really not comfortable speaking it.

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: