the person who speaks spanish is not here


The support staff of my non-profit law firm had meeting today to learn how to more effectively deal with Spanish-speaking callers. Here's how it went:

-We want to be able to say, in Spanish, "The person who speaks Spanish is not here. Please leave a message on the machine."
-La persona que habla espanol no esta aqui.
-No esta aqui, got it.
-Deje un mensaje
-Deje un masaje.
-Mensaje is message. Masaje is massage.
-If you say, "Deje un masaje", our clients are going to be very confused.
-"Leave a what? Excuse me! What kind of law firm IS this?"

-Should we learn the word for "stop"?
-Just say Un momento
-Ooon momento.
-Un momento.
-Or just say, "Callate, cabron!"
-What does "cabron" mean?
-He was just kidding. Never say that word over the phone.

-What if they ask about an attorney?
-The word for lawyer is abogado.
-With a G. And a B.
-Ahh..buh...ahhguh...What is it again?
-Abogado. Don't say "avocado".
-"Do I need a WHAT? What kind of law firm IS this?"
-Since we're next door to Whole Foods, they might be especially confused.
-That should be our new standard for appointing an attorney. If you can afford to buy an avocado from Whole Foods, you are too rich for our services.
-So, the second letter is B?
-This meeting is over.


LOL. This is muy comico.


at my last office job we got a lot of spanish callers. when i got there they were preparing a spanish voicemail line, but in my nine months at that office they never got around to setting it up. so i was always trying to explain, in english, that i was going to put them on hold for a half hour while i rushed around the office looking for a spanish speaker.

Despite six years of Spanish education, I am not at all fluent, except when it comes to describing my limitations in speaking Spanish. I explain that I don't speak Spanish very well, but I use both the reflexive and the subjunctive tenses to do so, which makes the caller think that I do in fact speak Spanish. So I offer them an avocado, then put them on hold for half an hour while I rush around the office looking for a real Spanish speaker.

I love this blog entry. It was very helpful to me just now as I was searching for some proper way to say what I wanted to in Spanish.

One question...

how does one say "For speakers of Spanish"

para los ________ de espagnol?

for speakers of Spanish is in spanish
(Para los hablantes de espaƱol)

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on October 25, 2007 5:44 PM.

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