I spent a week in beautiful Guadalajara puppeteering Nufonia Must Fall at the International Film Festival there. It was amazing to perform for such lovely audiences, and to be hosted so warmly!
I ate a lot of cheese. I spoke Spanish badly and still managed to wax poetic with philosopher-restaurant-owners and shopkeepers and Uber drivers about art, politics, and life—indeed, I realized you have to wax poetic when you don’t know many words; suddenly metaphors become not “merely” ornamental but essential communication tools.
My top three Spanish language tips:
- As I already knew before my trip, “Despacito” is the name of an insanely popular 2017 Luis Fonsi song about being extremely attractive while living in Puerto Rico. But as I learned from parents in the lobby post-show, turns out that “despacito” is also a word you can use when you want to ask a child to touch a puppet more gently:
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- Song lyrics are extremely fun and effective ways to learn vocabulary. 100% of my conversations in Spanish included words & phrases I learned from this Chilean brother-sister duo’s (excellent) cover of Adele’s “Hello,” and the Raffi rendition of “De Colores” that I knew from my childhood. Speaking of, my 7 best pics of todos los colores:
- The words for left, right, and change are izquierda, derecho, and cambio, and taking a salsa class was a GREAT way to learn this useful travel vocabulary: