Suegra called mid-morning on a weekday from El Salvador. She knew Carlos would be working, so I was anxious as to why she was calling. It was either an emergency, or she had a question. She’s been calling with a lot of questions lately. Usually she wants me to translate something. I am like Gringa 411.
Here is our most recent exchange, (translated to English):
Suegra: Hi, how are you?
Me: Um, good. How are you?
Suegra: Good, more or less.
Me: ….Um, what’s wrong?
Suegra: I have a question. People here have doubts and I want to clear them up.
Me: Okay. What question?
Suegra: Washington D.C.
Suegra: The D.C. — It means District of Colombia?… [I know she thinks it’s spelled this way – like the country]
Me: District of Columbia – yes.
Suegra: And just to take away any doubts – what does this signify? Can you tell me?
Me: It’s just a name.
Suegra: It doesn’t have anything to do with Colombia?
Me: Colombia, the country?
Me: Um… no. It’s just a name… We have cities with that name, too. It probably came from the name of Cristóbal Colón — in English his name is Christopher Columbus.
Suegra: Ahhhh. Okay. That’s what I thought but I wanted to remove doubt. Thank you. Bye.
Note: I later looked it up, and I was right that the word “Columbia” derives from the name of Christopher Columbus.