I asked Sara to put together a post that would express the things she's learning in her Spanish class, including language and cultural concepts. As a point of interest, you should know that Sara is probably the most popular girl in all of Guatemala with her lovely blond curls. Its a constant barrage of honking horns and whistling, supplemented by conversations with strangers about whether or not her hair is real. She made quite a splash at the market- everyone wanted to be her friend. Everyone. Especially the shoe shine boys. Without further ado...
"So, yesterday I learned a few important differences in how to use estar (to be) and ser (to be). Mini lesson... Ser is used when something is permanent, such as something that's part of who you are. "Soy alto en Guatemala." I am tall in Guatemala. Estar is when something can change; it's in that moment. "Estoy cansado." I'm tired. Anyway, my teacher shared an example of this important difference using the word caliente (hot). "Estoy caliente" is saying "I'm hot" (temperature). "Soy caliente" is saying "I'm a prostitute"... So ladies and gentleman. Be careful with how you use the word caliente. Oh, and let's also be clear that I did not mess this up... yet. :) She also told me that there is a difference between "Estoy embarazada" and "Soy embarazada". Saying estoy means you're embarrassed. Using soy is saying you're pregnant. Shawn's mom suggested the goal be that I not say that I'm a pregnant prostitute, which I think is always a good idea.
My teacher also is really good at drawing pictures to help me understand. The best one so far was her picture to describe how the Mayan women give birth (standing up) and that it goes much faster, you know because of gravity. :) She's great."