Thursday, March 25, 2010

This past week I've been working part-time for Census 2010. Two days a week I'm working at the League of Women Voters and two days I'm at Villa Parke Community Center.

At the League office one fellow came in asking for a form in English so that he could translate for his parents who are literate in Armenian. Okay, here you go, and thank you, sir.

Tuesday at Villa Parke a lot of Spanish was flying around. So much that if you listened really hard you could tons of regional variations. Buenas tardes, buenas, hola, hey, 'alo. Kids walking by carrying skateboards, parents walking by carrying kids, staff members greeting clients, ballerinas in tutus, guys with basketballs, seniors in all manner of dress. Activity and energy. They have about 18,000 drop-in client visits per month.

One visit for me was most memorable. In walked a woman who wanted help and spoke Chinese. I think it was Mandarin, but I'm not sure. What I am sure is that we had a really good time trying to figure out how to fill out her census form. She with only Chinese and me with only English. We pointed, we used tools from the census, we laughed and waved our arms alot. But in the end her form was filled and she will be counted in Census 2010.

Next, please.


  1. Bless you, Roberta, you are such an asset to this town.

  2. It was so much fun. She kept laughing when I tried to say "sheh sheh". It was funny the one word she could quickly read in either language was Chinese. She was very clear about that.

  3. Interesting & good how you the English person, and she the Chinese still were able to socialize and get some work done. You both must've met half-way: conversing in Spanish. Maybe that's how languages are born - a hybrid!

  4. Ah, had it been Spanish we would have finished in half the time. Nope, if you'd had chance to see us you would have seen I was the English speaker and she the Chinese speaker. And you would have had such a laugh.
    You are absolute right about how languages grow. A quick fun example is the move from the Aztec/Mexica language (Nahautl) to Spanish language to English. Chocolatl/chocolate/chocolate. Delicious in any language.