Unlike my older sister who is fluent in six or seven languages, learning other languages has never been my thing. French in high school and introductory Spanish in university tarnished my GPA, but I had enough of each to get by overseas. However, on our honeymoon in Costa Rica a couple years ago, my wife and I discovered that my brain had, over the years, somehow blended my already marginal French and Spanish into a truly useless hybrid language.

I depart shortly for the ESRI Latin American User Conference in Santiago, Chile and I hauled out my old Spanish textbooks a few weeks ago to prepare. It appears the hybridization may be permanent. Last night, I finally conceded substantive improvement was extremely unlikely and decided to resort to simply memorizing as many phrases as possible.

I’m grateful I’ll be delivering a presentation alongside Fernando Basurto, COO of our business partner ESIMEX, as he’ll be able to translate my words properly--and in the correct language.