Sunday, June 27, 2010

Off topic: English and Spanish languages

My mother tongue is Spanish. I have learned English along the years, since I was in middle school.

Of course, when I have learned the most is when my husband and I moved to the States from Spain. It was the first time that I had really to rely on my skills to talk to and understand people. There was not a teacher in hand to help me or a book to tell me the translation of something that was being said. The lovely people that I met were SO helpful when they talked slowly and looking to my face! To this day, I dread talking on the phone because representatives often talk very fast and not pronouncing clearly.

I have read a lot of books in English - I am talking classics from the XIX Century, as well as modern literature. And naturally, spending A LOT of time on the world wide web helps too, specially to learn new vocabulary. I am better writer than I am speaker - when I talk, my mind goes very fast and I tend to mix up the pronouns (he and she) and the verbal tenses and forms.

It cost me a little bit to understand TV and movies, and we still rely sometimes in subtitles - for example with series such as "The Sopranos". Song lyrics still are tough, depending on who is singing them.

When I began to think in English, as well as talking in English in my dreams, my husband told me that I should be happy, because that means that it's becoming like a second tongue, and that I am almost bilingual.

Well, now I am writing a book in my mother tongue. And to my dismay, I am finding myself relying on my dictionary to find the translation for Spanish words FROM English! I had to look up today "involve", "cue" and "vindictive", because for the life of me, I could not find the equivalent in Spanish. In case you want to know, they are "implicar", "seƱal" and "vengativo", respectively.

And this happens beside the fact that I talk to my family in Spain every day through Skype, obviously in Spanish. I don't know if I should be happy or worried...

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Fellow Etsian and blogger Hurray Kimmay has been so sweet as to feature one of my minis in her blog, on an entry about Apothecary decor, which I particularly am very fond of.

Thank you so much, Kimmay!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Scientist weekend

Hubby and I are now working long hours in the lab after every body has gone. I help when I can; lately I have been going there 3 hours a day, and I can not sit for a moment because of all the work that there is to do. It is practically impossible to spend all that time between experiments without thinking "How could I do this in miniature?".

To relax tension, I have made this simple but funny vignette:

Yes, in labs there are objects chained to the wall - he said that chained containers are generally made of aluminum, not glass, but I think that seeing green stuff in a glass jar is more fun! It's available in my shop, so go grab it if you like it :)

Spending all this time in the lab has given me new energy to try and make a lab bench in miniature. I'm considering the possibility that most of the stuff that will sit there is too geek-related for the non-scientist to understand (I have made the equivalent of a Kleenex box with wipes for microscope lens - they are called Kim Wipes), so I don't know if it would sell well. We'll see...