A chunk of concrete.
You marvel at how easy these words are to remember. They are identical except for the last letter.
You select barricada and add it to your sentence.
Necesitas mover la barricada.
You need to move the barricade.
You wonder why you struggled so mightily in sophomore Spanish.
You stride toward the spiral staircase, anxious to complete your Spanish sentence.
Adventure #4: Choose Your Own Adjective.
At the top of the staircase, you look around curiously. You realize you've been here before. You see the chalkboard and the pink chalk.
A circular plot narrative, really? If this turns out like Vanilla Sky, I'm gonna be ticked off, you think to yourself.
You see five adjectives written on the chalkboard.
You recall that unlike English, adjectives follow nouns in Spanish.
cromado (kroh-MAH-doh) chrome
diagonal (dyah-goh-NAHL) diagonal
doble (DOH-blay) double
prefabricada (pray-fah-bree-KAH-dah) prefabricated
residencial (ray-see-dayn-SYAHL) residential
Again you are struck by the familiarity of these words.
You choose diagonal because it is identical in both languages.
Excitedly, you grab the pink chalk and write your Spanish sentence on the chalkboard in large letters.
Necesitas mover la barricada diagonal.
You need to move the diagonal barricade.
Stepping back to marvel at your new found Spanish skills, you hear heavy breathing.
You spin around quickly.
You see a pack of 13 drooling saber-tooth tigers bearing down on you.
Sorry about that.
But what an adventure! Now you can communicate hundreds of sentences on the job.
Say Necesitas (think necessity), pick one infinitive (Mover, Instalar, Completar, Reparar) and then simply point at something. You'll find that's enough to make things happen on the job.
The adventure is out there waiting for you. All you have to do is choose.
For a more interactive version of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" story see The Lost Jewel of Construction Español.
Bradley Hartmann is el presidente and founder of Red Angle - a Spanish language training firm focused exclusively on the construction industry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.redanglespanish.com.