Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or Another Nearby City in a Differeny County Altogether

I minored in Spanish back in college, and while my skills have drastically deteriorated, I can still whip it out in times of need.  (Hey now!)  That said, it’s difficult for me to know when to switch from English to Spanish. If I’m talking to someone whose primary tongue is Spanish and I can tell that s/he is struggling a little bit in English, I’m tempted to jump in right away.  However, that’s saying, “My broken Spanish is better than your broken English.”  What if they disagree with that assessment?  Also, I don’t always have the right vocabulary to take the conversation into Spanish and end up saying things like, “No hay que cambiar las horas de los…sprinklers.” 

I ran into an interesting situation along these same lines recently.  I had a plumber come out because of some fun and exciting clog action, and his assistant clearly didn’t speak English at all.  They were here for a little while, and I felt rude not really acknowledging the second guy, especially since I had the skill-set to do so.  I wanted to break the ice somehow, and I thought I saw the perfect opening.  He was wearing an Anaheim Angels baseball hat (I refuse to call them by their correct, stupid-ass dual-city name).  The Angels had just recently been eliminated from the playoffs, so I could lament that fact with him.  Before I started speaking, I thought about what I was going to say in my head and ran into a problem.  You see, “The Angels” in Spanish is “Los Angeles.”  Unless I specified, “The baseball team called The Angels” (which would’ve been mighty awkward), any sentence I said would have sounded like, “I’m sorry about Los Angeles losing this year.”  Oh sure, I could’ve pointed to his hat while I said it, but this was quickly becoming much more than acknowledging his presence.  So in the end, I just said, “Thank you” in English when he was leaving, which I’m pretty sure he understood.  Whew, I knew those upper-division 17th Century Spanish Lit courses would come in handy someday.

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