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Carlos: I’m dying of hunger. What’s going on, I am Carlos and I am joined as always by our Costa Rican connection Natalia. Naty, ¿cómo estás?
Natalia: Todo bien, Carlos. Hmm, you are pronouncing your s’s.
Carlos: I know. My accent is changing. What are we studying today, Natie?
Natalia: Well we are going to continue our discussion on food and dining.
Carlos: Man, we’ve been on that theme for three lessons.
Natalia: Well, who are you to talk “gordito.”
Carlos: What does that mean?
Natalia: Do you really want to know?
Carlos: No I am just asking because I like to hear my own voice.
Natalia: Oh Carlos, it means fatso, fatty, chubby person.
Carlos: That just means its more love.
Natalia: Call me what you will….Okay “gordito” well in any case, food is really, really important here in Costa Rica.
Carlos: True that. You know food is very important no matter where you go in the Spanish speaking world.
Natalia: It’s a part of our….
Carlos: Customs and culture.
Natalia: Aha!
Carlos: Sorry, couldn’t help it.
Natalia: Ha ha ha! Well it’s true and in this lesson, we are going to discuss some specific foods that are popular in Costa Rica.
Carlos: Ah like the “casados” we talked about in lesson 9.
Natalia: Exactly.
Carlos: All right.
Natalia: Alright Carlos, let’s get into today’s conversation.
Carlos: Now, let’s go back to newbie lesson 10 where we heard the following conversation.
RENZO: ¡Lucía, me muero de hambre!
LUCÍA: Yo también tengo mucha hambre, Renzo.
RENZO: ¿Qué quieres comer tú?
LUCÍA: Yo quiero comer carne.
RENZO: Con la carne quiero tomar un vino tinto.
LUCÍA: Yo tengo un Malbec.
Carlos: This time with the translation. Ahora incluiremos la traducción.
RENZO: ¡Lucía, me muero de hambre! Lucia, I am starving.
LUCÍA: Yo también tengo mucha hambre, Renzo. I am really hungry too, Renzo.
RENZO: ¿Qué quieres comer tú? What do you want to eat?
LUCÍA: Yo quiero comer carne. I want to eat meat.
RENZO: Con la carne quiero tomar un vino tinto. With the meat, I want to drink red wine.
LUCÍA: Yo tengo un Malbec. I have a Malbec.
Natalia: So basically that conversation will be understood anywhere in the Spanish speaking world.
Carlos: That’s right but now, let’s hear what this might sound like in the Spanish spoken in Costa Rica. ¡Silvia, me palmo de hambre!
Natalia: Bueno, Hernán, me estoy palmando igual.
Carlos: ¿Qué comemos?
Natalia: Quiero comer un pinto!
Carlos: ¡Qué rico el pinto gallo! ¿Qué tal un pinto con natilla?
Natalia: ¡Pero, claro! ¡Y no nos podemos olvidar el café!
Carlos: Once again slowly. Una vez más, esta vez lentamente.
Carlos: [¡Silvia, me palmo de hambre!
Natalia: Bueno, Hernán, me estoy palmando igual.
Carlos: ¿Qué comemos?
Natalia: Quiero comer un pinto!
Carlos: ¡Qué rico el pinto gallo! ¿Qué tal un pinto con natilla?
Natalia: ¡Pero, claro! ¡Y no nos podemos olvidar el café!
Carlos: Okay Natie, I can see we got our work cut out for us. I mean to begin, let’s look at the way Lucia I am starving was rendered in Costa Rican Spanish. Natie, if you’d be so kind, could you please repeat that for us?
Natalia: ¡Silvia, me palmo de hambre!
Carlos: Sylvia, I am dying of hunger. In newbie lesson 10, it sounded like this.
Carlos: ¡Lucía, me muero de hambre! Lucia I am starving.
Carlos: Natie, this is a interesting comparison because some of the structure here seems to be the same but there is a word that sticks out like a sore thumb.
Natalia: Bueno... Well I think the major difference is the use of the word “palmo” instead of the word “muero”.
Carlos: Right. So in newbie lesson 10, Renzo uses the verb “morir” which means to die “me muero de hambre” and in our Costa Rican conversation, Ernan uses the verb “palmo”.
Natalia: Me palmo de hambre.
Carlos: Which means
Natalia: To die.
Carlos: Bueno, Natie but why the different word if they mean the same thing.
Natalia: En mi opinión. In my opinion, it has to do with respect.
Carlos: How so?
Natalia: Well in Cost Rica, we have a really profound respect for death. So we usually use the verb “palmar” when referring to something that is in literal “me palmo de hambre”.
Carlos: I see. So you opt from the figurative verb “palmar” instead. I mean that’s interesting. Can you provide me one other example?
Natalia: Umm like you could say “me estoy palmando de aburrimiento”, I am dying of boredom.
Carlos: I am dying of boredom.
Natalia: Me estoy palmando de aburrimiento.
Carlos: Wait, I am dying of boredom.
Natalia: Uho..
Carlos: I reckon that’s a gerund.
Natalia: Hmm that’s a good thing. The gerund hah!
Carlos: Yeah the gerund. Ever since lesson 6, I’ve kept my ear out.
Natalia: And what have you noticed?
Carlos: Well some verbs had different sounding gerunds. I mean they all end in ndo.
Natalia: But
Carlos: Some end in iendo or iendo and others in ando. I mean really what’s the deal?
Natalia: Well Carlos, this is lesson 10. I am not going to answer that. Give him a minute gentleman Carlos, you know this. The answer is already there.
Carlos: Umm hold on, alright hold on. Pattern, verbs, conjugation, Joe and Bae’s verb conjugation series.
Natalia: You know that. Look at it, look at the sentence.
Carlos: Okay, okay ar and er also ir verbs.
Natalia: Exactly.
Carlos: Okay you know what, that was a little pressure but sometimes you know I work well under those conditions.
Natalia: Well Carlos, be careful though. In Spanish, we have some irregular verbs as well.
Carlos: Why?
Natalia: When a regular ar verbs are formed in the gerund, you just drop the stem from the infinitive and that ando like for “palmar, palmando”.
Carlos: Okay so when regular er, ir verbs are formulated in the gerund, you drop the stem and add
Natalia: Iendo like from “comer, comiendo”.
Carlos: Cool. So for an ar verb like “cantar” to sing, it becomes “cantando”.
Natalia: Nice. So what about “conocer”?
Carlos: Oh you mean to know or to be acquainted with. Well that would be “conociendo”.
Natalia: Why?
Carlos: Well because connoisseur is a er verb.
Natalia: Carlos, if I had a cookie right now, I would bite half off and give the other half to you.
Carlos: Little bit of generosity. Anyway, I will take what I can get. So once again, in newbie lesson 10, we heard Lucía me muero de hambre. Lucia I am starving and in Costa Rica, you would be in a good place if you say
Natalia: Me palmo de hambre.
Carlos: I am starving.
Natalia: Now there is another little point we should make before moving on.
Carlos: And that is
Natalia: Well in the newbie conversation, to ask what do you want to eat Renzo says.
Carlos: ¿Qué quieres comer tú? What do you want to eat.
Natalia: But in our Costa Rican, conversation, he said “¿Qué comemos?”
Carlos: You know, that is a good point. Now, tell me if I am wrong but this seems to mean what do we eat?
Natalia: You are wrong.
Carlos: Well, I told you to tell me if I was.
Natalia: Well, you are wrong.
Carlos: Well, thanks Natie. So why don’t you explain it then?
Natalia: Well I’d be happy to. The thing is that the present tense of the indicative mood is often used to ask a question about the future.
Carlos: You know what, this sounds interesting. I don’t think I’ve heard this before.
Natalia: I think you have.
Carlos: I have?
Natalia: Sure. For example, when you are getting ready to go somewhere with someone, what do they often say?
Carlos: They say “Vamos”.
Natalia: Right. So when we say “¿Qué comemos?” it’s like saying what should we eat.
Carlos: Okay I see. Can this be done with other verbs too?
Natalia: Definitely. For example, if we are making plans and want to ask you if you want to talk later on, you could say “hablamos mas tarde” and this is like saying, should we talk later or can we talk later.
Carlos: This is very cool stuff Natie but wait, this doesn’t really sound like it could be particular to Costa Rica.
Natalia: No, this is just a feature from the Spanish language.
Carlos: And you know what, it’s a cool feature at that. So to recap, in the newbie lesson, we heard “Qué quieres comer tú?” what do you want to eat and in our Costa Rican version, this was rendered
Natalia: ¿Qué comemos?”
Carlos: What should we eat.
Natalia: Alright Carlos, now let’s look at some of the local expressions that came up in today’s conversation.
Carlos: I am pretty excited. I am not going to lie about today’s localism section.
Natalia: Why?
Carlos: Because today we are going to talk about something that is very interesting in Costa Rica. I mean this is like so close to my heart.
Natalia: I am afraid to ask.
Carlos: What! You don’t have to. I am going to tell you anyway.
Natalia: Well of course
Carlos: Gallo pinto.
Natalia: I am guilty too then. That’s one of my addictions.
Carlos: And I am going to say Natie that since I’ve been here, it truly has become one of my addictions. I mean I cannot imagine going throughout a day without my “gallo pinto” fix but I got to admit that I was really confused the first time I saw it on a menu.
Natalia: Why?
Carlos: Well because I looked at my dictionary and doesn’t Gallo Pinto means spotted rooster?
Natalia: As a matter of fact, it does. Well, I can see how that could be confusing, but Gallo Pinto has nothing to do with a spotted rooster. I actually had it for breakfast this morning. I have one like every two days.
Carlos: Oh I see. I have one every day and imagine to my surprise, when I thought I was going to have spotted rooster and they brought out this whole big plate, the suspense is killing me. I am sure it’s killing you too. So Natie, please tell us what this delicious, delicious dish consists of?
Natalia: Well it’s very simple. Gallo Pinto is a mixture of rice and beans.
Carlos: That’s what I love, I mean rice and beans for breakfast. I mean seriously breakfast is so boring in the states sometimes.
Natalia: Well, but wait, there is more.
Carlos: Are we on an infomercial now?
Natalia: If you call in the next 10 minutes, we can serve you with “natilla” sour cream eggs, fried plantains and to put it simply Carlos, the traditional Costa Rican breakfast.
Carlos: Okay. So to take Hernan’s line from our Tico conversation “Qué rico pinto con natilla.” how delicious Pinto with natila.
Natalia: “Natilla”
Carlos: Natilla. But there is something missing.
Natalia: What?
Carlos: Coffee.
Natalia: Ai cafesito. You know, you want to hear something funny Carlos?
Carlos: Always.
Natalia: You know that actually “natilla” is a nickname they give Natalia when they are in school. So back when I was little, they used to call me “Natilla” the whole time to bother me.
Carlos: Oh I just got new ammo.
Natalia: Okay.
Carlos: Thank you for that.
Natalia: Well, we were talking about coffee.
Carlos: Yeah.
Natalia: We have pinto with coffee.
Carlos: Yeah I love coffee too but this must be serious because she said “cafesito” she used the diminutive. Natie, in all honesty, I have begun drinking my coffee black since I moved here. I mean it’s just too good to mix with milk.
Natalia: Well sometimes I enjoy coffee con leche but to each their own, you know. In Costa Rica, this is some of the best quality coffee in the world.
Carlos: You know I learned that. I did have a coffee tour in Araria, a city close to San Jose and it was wild to see people picking coffee.
Natalia: Yeah I see how that might be strange for you. You know that a lot of professionals tell story about being sent to pick coffee by their mothers when they were children. As a matter of fact, even I have been there.
Carlos: That’s cute in a way.
Natalia: Yeah. It is a nice, little Costa Rican tradition.
Carlos: Walking through those fields, seeing the lush plants and all the beans and all the coffee. You know what, I am considering opening up I think just a coffee farm, café, bookstore, everything, just everything right there. I just had people come in and took coffee all day and I will sit with a hat and a cigar.
Natalia: Carlos, leave the wishes and things behind and let’s go on.
Carlos: Okay. Since you are going to crush my dreams, right?
Natalia: Okay.
Carlos: And make fun of them, we need to stop.


Carlos: So, we are going to wrap up today’s lesson.
Natalia: To further compare what we covered here, check our newbie lesson 10. See you soon.
Carlos: Nos vemos pronto.


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Dialogue - Costa Rican

Dialogue - Standard