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Spanish in the kitchen! Help!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

So I just started a new job a month ago. I had interned at a couple other kitchens but this is my first real job. I really like it and I am learning a lot. The one problem is that I don't speak Spanish. Everyone is really nice and there are a couple bilingual speakers but it annoying to track them down to get them to translate. If anything I ask them "how do I say...?" I know that eventually I should take Spanish lessons because my high school Spanish is not enough. Saying Me gusto leo can only get you so far. I will take lesson when I college starts back up in the Fall. Basically I am asking for anyone who knows kitchen Spanish and if you could throw me some phrases that can help. The miss communication has cause many mess ups in the kitchen and I end up looking like the dumb white girl who can't take directions 

post #2 of 26

You can buy a spanish/english dictionary at a bookstore. No reason to wait for college. Decide on which phrases or words you use most often and teach yourself. Write them down in a small notebook you can carry with you. 

post #3 of 26

Rosetta Stone is a pretty good product.

 

The best thing is just experience. In general, Latinos/Latinas are some of the most hardworking, dedicated and friendly group of people I've worked with. Eat their food, lean about them and their culture, be respectful and they will most likely be happy to teach you words and phrases. 

post #4 of 26
Ask people; point to an object and ask what it is. If you took spanish in high school you've got a leg up on me, I took japanese! I learned Spanish just from working with different people & asking questions. The ones that 'don't' speak english probably understand more than you think.
post #5 of 26

Its best to learn quickly so you know if/when they are making fun of you. 

post #6 of 26
Also I hope you like soccer!
post #7 of 26

Also...........there are many dialects of Spanish, so a word can mean several things depending where the person came from.

 

Firstly, you need to learn about food terms then common words for things in the kitchen.

I suggest a English/Spanish dictionary

post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 


Yea I started tat today. I write them down on my phone. I am just waiting officially for college cause financial aid will cover the cost. I can't afford the classes on my own

post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 


Seriously though, some of the most hard working people I have EVER met. Yea, I eat the family meals with them all the time. They always thank me cause they get to practice their english with me and in return my Spanish. They have taught me stuff but they have also tricked me with some words. Like they told me Sancho meat Salud. So someone sneezed and I said Sancho! Now I know what it means and its now a running joke. Its okay though cause it was pretty funny!

post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 


HAHA they keep asking me about soccer and they were talking about how Mexico was playing Venezuela today. Sadly, I don't watch it. I will play it but I don't watch

post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 

Haha some do know more. Its mostly the dishwashers that don't know. My daily phrase is "Como se dice para Espanoll?" and then I point 

post #12 of 26

Very likely they are yanking your chain. Most probably speak English. Taking Spanish in school is probably going to set you back in comprehension. You'll spend a lot of time trying to translate their super fast slang from your school Spanish. If you look hard enough you'll be able to find a SSL in your community. They're usually free. Also, teaching ESL will expedite your understanding.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #13 of 26

This experience will be better than any college class. Start out with the universal language of hand signs. If you are looking for a steak, make a cow noise and pretend you are eating a steak.

if you are looking for milk, make a cow noise and pretend you are drinking.

You don't need to take a college class to learn the basic spanish you need to know in a kitchen. You've got the internet.

Write down all the basic words you think you need to know in the kitchen. Now translate them to spanish.

Write down cooking methods like boiling, grilling, etc. Translate them.

Write down ingredients like butter, salt, pepper, oil. Translate them. ETC.

 

You will be practicing spanish without even realizing it. Before you know it you will be having spanglish conversations with the other cooks.

 

good luck!

post #14 of 26

If you show interest in learning, most will oblige. I worked with a couple from El Salvador for several years, I worked on my Spanish with them,  they worked on their English with me, it bettered all of us.

post #15 of 26

Hahahaha Sancho. 100% way to make a Mexican smile is say that when someone sneezes. 

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday View Post
 

Hahahaha Sancho. 100% way to make a Mexican smile is say that when someone sneezes. 

...But only after the third sneeze.....before that you say "Salude."

post #17 of 26

There are plenty of App's that you can download on your phone that will translate for you, most are even voice driven. I think Spanish is the only thing I learned in 4 years of High School I actually use on a daily basis.

post #18 of 26

I went to work in Spain from London without knowing any Spanish but when you have to, you learn quick. I remember my first phone order for fish, I thought I ordered a small piece/side of cod to find out tomorrow that 12 kg monster delivered! Kitchen Spanish is easy, just learn things like left, right, up, down, basic names of vegetables and proteins and the rest will come....like with learning all languages, I found that even after a few years my grammar was rubbish but i got by. What's more when Spanish speaking guys see you are making an effort they will help you. Also try and watch some Spanish TV for phrases.

post #19 of 26

APPS

This just dawned on me. I'm taking a blacksmithing class taught by a Danish gentleman. His quasi sign language is good but his English is horrible.

I've been impressing him with my questions in Dutch. I'm using GOOGLE TRANSLATE, I use the audio, it's easy to use, seems to be very understandable, and best

of all, it's free.

  I just now checked some kitchen Spanish translations and they seem to be really good.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #20 of 26
Ok.
Someone plz explain the Sancho joke.
I use it to ID the guy who comes over when the husband leaves for work.
The housewife's best friend with benefits.

mimi
post #21 of 26
Right.... then you hear him sneeze when he's under the bed, I always thought
post #22 of 26

Hello, I know how you feel. I am the only white girl too in a full spanish kitchen. They are all very nice to me and after one year my Spanish is almost become fluent. See I cant even write in English anymore..lol Chaley!  I think as you grow you will start to pick up on the language and lingo plus know when they are talking about you. lol  

Good luck

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post

Ok.
Someone plz explain the Sancho joke.
I use it to ID the guy who comes over when the husband leaves for work.
The housewife's best friend with benefits.

mimi


You are correct.

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by girlcook View Post
 

Hello, I know how you feel. I am the only white girl too in a full spanish kitchen. They are all very nice to me and after one year my Spanish is almost become fluent. See I cant even write in English anymore..lol Chaley!  I think as you grow you will start to pick up on the language and lingo plus know when they are talking about you. lol  

Good luck


AAJAJAJAJAJAAJJJAAAA!

 

She said, "chale"! Mexicans in the kitchen, no doubt.

post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grande View Post

Right.... then you hear him sneeze when he's under the bed, I always thought

Ahhhhh.....
Sometimes I can be a bit slow on the uptake.
I was never the bartender with the jokes and cute trix with paper matchbooks.
Good thing I worked hi volume establishments ..... too loud and fast to babysit the barstool people.
The only thing that saved me from empty tip jars was the fact that I had to bend over a lot wink.gif

mimi
post #26 of 26
I wanna reinforce what pan pointed out.
A lot of people who's primary language is not English will play their cards close to their chests until you have proven you can be trusted.
Not a big deal.....just don't act like an a**hole .
Check out a couple of urban dictionary sites but keep in mind that slang words can have very different meanings from place to place.
This I know from experience lol.

My best advice is to keep a good sense of humor about it.
A smile and a laugh will take you far in this world.

mimi
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