Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ooof!

So this is one of those things that probably just won't come across on paper (or the computer screen), but I have to share it anyway. Dominican Spanish is a language all it's own. It has so many little (and big) idiosyncrasies and so many words that are unique to the DR. And, there are tons of expressions that I am certain only a Dominican (or someone living here) would get. There are so many - I could go on and on.

One of my favorites is "Oof!" It's something you say when someone asks something like, "So how many years have your grandparents been married?" or "How many people died in the earthquake?" or "How much trash is dumped into the river?" In other words, if the answers is "A lot! Too many to count! Where do I begin?" you just say, "Oooof!" and for added emphasis you can kinda' wag your hand around like you just burned it.

The other day we had a trainer come from DC to do a presentation on WMD (yes, that's right) and he asked "How many germs do you think are in this room?" Most of the room was Dominican employees - "Ooof!" they all replied. "Is that a lot then?" he asked. A little later he asked, "How many people do you think this stuff could kill?" "Oooof!" they said. He laughed, "Ooof again! Must mean a lot."

Guess you gotta' see it. Trust me. It's funny.