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Life Arts    H3'ed 6/16/10

Elecricity for Venezuela - Rednecks in Chavezland

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One in particular is gross and offensive with his style of expression. Deathchord seems to have a particular concept of communication that is offensive in both languages at the same time. If, after the first time he says something in English, he isn't clearly understood by native Venezuelans who only speak Spanish, he lapses into a sort of Joe Cockeresque epileptic fit saying, "Let's use sign language now to explain what I mean."

I studied American sign language for two years to help those in my department who were hearing-impaired. What he does has nothing to do with sign language. It is gross and perverted and makes him look like a chimp with motor skill problems. The Venezuelans ask me why he does such ridiculous gyrations and all I can say is, "He doesn't know better."

All rednecks want to learn Spanish and communicate with the locals more. They all want to be able to mesh with the conversations of the day that they hear all around them. Their solution, however, smacks of late night TV. "For only $49.95, you can speak like a native in only 5 hours."


I speak three languages fluently. I know exactly what I did to learn them. It had nothing to do with "only 5 hours." It had to do with 6 months of listening to others and not speaking a word. It had to do with not speaking English AT ALL with anyone for over two years. It had to do with doing everything, even the simplest movements like going to the bathroom, ONLY in Spanish. In other words, it required a dedicated and prolonged effort to learn Spanish.

These rednecks want to buy their way to fluency.

Sorry Charlie, languages are skills, not commodities. Americans might not understand what learning a language is all about, but they certainly understand their lack of comprehension once they get to a country that doesn't have English as the national language. I don't mind helping them out, but I constantly remind them that an interpreter earns $350 per day in the court system in the US and more than that at the UN.

We ain't cheap, and we don't cost less in Venezuela. Just go ahead and order your next meal without me. When you get the wrong food and you pay twice as much for it, then think about what I could save you. When you go shopping and you can't even ask the price of an item, remember who I am. When you are at work and you need someone to perform a task, don't forget the guy that can translate your request into action in seconds, rather than making you draw a diagram with arrows and pictures to convey your message, just to see it translated into the result you wanted to avoid.

Rednecks are funny. They have never heard of the expression, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." They think they're in the US, only with great Socialist perks that they can take advantage of. They praise the country they're in, yet condemn the government that gives it to them. Hypocrisy 2010, it's all the rage in Venezuela.

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60 year old Californian male - I've lived in four different countries, USA, Switzerland, Mexico, Venezuela - speak three languages fluently, English, French, Spanish - part-time journalist for Empower-Sport Magazine. I also write four (more...)

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