I discovered a really cool page on Facebook yesterday called La gente anda diciendo. The concept is very simple: people in Buenos Aires, Argentina send in snippets of conversations they hear strangers say in public either to someone with them or on a cell phone, and most frequently on buses and on the street. Here’s La gente anda diciendo’s brief description of what they do:
Fragmentos de conversaciones que escuchamos por la calle. Frases sueltas, a veces inconclusas, casi siempre fuera de contexto. Twitter @gentediciendo
I love the snatches of ordinary, private life, and I love how colorfully people talk. Sure, I enjoyed it from a language-learning perspective as well, but, even more than that, it’s just a fantastic way to see language as a living, dynamic entity.
Here are a few of my favorites and my loose translations below.
(If Felix Baumgartner could get a signal all the way out in the stratosphere, there’s no way you really expect me to buy the story that you couldn’t get a signal in that crummy bar.)
(I don’t know, girl, at that price I’ll stick with my black tooth and just paint it with White-out.)
(Psychology is what ruined everything around here. My old man would beat my back with broomsticks, and just look how well I turned out.)
(Hey, you love yourself a little too; it’s not enough just for me to love you.)
(She puts little reminders in his cell phone: “our one-month anniversary,” “our two-month anniversary” . . . and he still doesn’t call her.)
(You’re not the person I fell in love with because obviously I never would have fallen in love with such a dumbass.)
(I’m not saying you have to go out with the intellectual heir of Archimedes, but at least with someone who’s not a total idiot.)
Piotrek told me in the comments of the last post that I’m very affectionate; well, let me just proclaim my immense affection for this project. If I were still living in Colombia, I would totally be creating my own version. I confess that last night I went to bed kind of sad that I’m not living in a big South American city. Cities have lots of downsides, sure, but I love the constant intimate glimpses you get into the lives of strangers. Although when you live in such close quarters with millions of others (and have no car or mansion to enclose yourself in), you find that fewer people are strangers.
Do you like this idea? Like and follow La gente anda diciendo on Facebook here. And let me know if you know of any similar projects elsewhere.
(Oh, hopefully you’re at least decent with voseo! If you’re not, now’s as good a time as any to learn.)