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Ashley Evaro, Biola University

07 Jun 2015

TalkAbroad conversations are a part of the assigned course material for Intermediate Spanish at Biola Univeristy. My classmates and I were tasked to form groups and engage in nine conversations throughout the semester. In the first two conversations, my groupmates and I struggled a bit, though we were able to learn a lot from our patient TalkAbroad partners. By the time we reached our third conversation, we were all feeling more confident in our ability to communicate in Spanish and hold a fluid conversation. I became a bit too confident, perhaps, and I began to speak faster and faster in order to sound more fluent. Our conversation partner was from Peru and at one point in the conversation I wanted to ask him about his favorite Peruvian dish. I inquired, “¿Cuál es tu plato peruano favorito para comer?” But because I was speaking so quickly, he heard, “¿Cuál es tu gato peruano favorito para comer?” His facial expression immediately changed from one of friendliness to one of shock and confusion. He hesitated to answer the question. Suddenly, my two groupmates realized that he thought I was asking him about his favorite Peruvian cat to eat. They hurriedly restated my question, and our TalkAbroad partner expressed a look of relief. After this moment of clarification, we all burst into laughter. The conversation went on without further error, though we all remained quite light-hearted after my little blunder. This TalkAbroad conversation, while helping me practice my Spanish, also reminded me that humor, one of the universal languages, will always be one of my favorite forms of communication.