August 15, 2009

Sprussian

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 4:28 pm by Jenn

This was my third week back at work and I’ve been having a great time.  I really love working for DaVita and it feels good to be back with a patient population and making a difference.

I try to provide not only patient education, but a little bit of laughter for the teammates and patients and this week proved to be a LOT of both.  I have 60 total patients at this clinic and 10 of them are Spanish speaking.  A few of them speak and understand English well enough that I am comfortable speaking to them in English but a majority of them really need to be spoken to in Spanish to ensure that the message is getting across to them – great practice for me before heading to Chile.

I had one patient who’s labs were really great and I just needed to give him his report, find out what meds he was taking and tell him to keep up the good work.  Here is how the conversation started –

Me:  Извините пожалуйста.  Mi nombre es Jennifer, soy nutriciónista.  Как дела?

Patient:  ¿De dónde es?

Me:  Los Estados Unidos, pero en octubre voy a vivir en Chile.

Patient:  Oh!

Now, that seems like a pretty good start to the conversation right?  Well, what I said to him was:

Me: Excuse me please (in Russian).  My name is Jennifer, I am a dietitian (In Spanish).  How are you (in Russian)?

What he asked me – Where are you from?

What I said – The United States, but in October I will live in Chile.

What he said – Oh.

After his comment I realized what I had done and then I started laughing, which made him think I was even crazier.  My Spanish isn’t good enough to tell him that I had been living in post soviet Europe for the past two years, so I just left it alone.  I went on to tell him in my best Spanish, that his labs were very good and to keep up the good work.  I got his meds and got the heck out of there….Chile, here I come?  Oh lord.

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3 Comments »

  1. Christine said,

    It’s alright. Ten years after Kenya I still have to catch myself saying something in Swahili instead of German. Go figure.

  2. Jen DeVine said,

    LOVE it!! Jenn, you rock!

  3. C said,

    So Much Awesome! And thank you for a good laugh, from someone who regularly mixes English, Spanish, German, and Russian, just to drive my husband crazy 😉


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