Friday, July 11, 2008

Spanish Sí, join the club

Naming Spanish Sí was not something that happened overnight.

I started with Se Habla Español, but the amazing SCORE coaches who provide consulting through the Small Business Administration suggested that to a monolingual American grandma who might want to hire a Spanish tutor for her grandchild, the phrase Se Habla Español would mean absolutely nothing. They suggested Conversational Spanish, and I liked how descriptive that was, but it did not encompass the spirit of this endeavor.

Spanish Sí (pronounced like the letter C) has been mis-spelled as:
Spanish C
Spanish See
Spanish S? (I guess that mass mail marketer didn't have a clue about typing accent marks).
Spanish Sc

But the winner is a mispronunciation that my dad made famous. When he saw the magnets on my minivan, he said, "Spanish Sigh? What's that?"

Dad is famous for a dry sense of humor, a love for Spoonerisms and malopropisms of all sorts... and he was just kidding. But I was asked the same thing by a student who, actually, wasn't.

Maybe I can start a business teaching Spanish for Budding Poets and call it Español por Suspiros. Maybe I can teach you and your significant other how to write romantic poetry, by reading some of the world's great literary figures.

For now, my students tend to be in the categories of travelers, children, workforce folk, and ministers of God's love and grace. And the fact that so many people want to learn Spanish and make a great effort to learn is, to be honest, a sigh of relief.

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