15 January 2010


Today I learned that it's very difficult to teach someone to play a game in another language. Games have a very distinctive vocabulary, and if you don't know what to call the pieces or the elements of the game, it's difficult to instruct someone else in how to play.

This afternoon Nicolas had a game of Chinese checkers. The instructions were in English, and Antonieta could understand all of them except a key preposition. When they asked me to explain, I was at a loss. We got there eventually, but it was a new exercise for my language skills.

Games seem to be the theme of the day, because tonight I played poker with my classmates. Two of the guys from Brazil knew how to play, as well as me and the other American student. It's hard to explain what's in a hand and which ones you want to have, and that's the easy part when compared to discussion of betting.

What I've learned from all of this is a) games are universal, and b) it's difficult but not impossible to explain them in another language.

Tomorrow we're going to A Coruna, a city very close to Santiago that I've heard lots of great things about. Look for pictures in a few days!


  1. Will you teach me how to play poker? I can learn in English :D

  2. Of course! And if you want to learn in Spanish, I've got your back.