For weeks I've been out knocking doors for Wompost, Aurora's new curbside compost pickup. I have knocked on 500 doors, where about 100 people have answered. One in three speaks Spanish (this is what I love about my neighborhood, by the way).
I've been "conversationally fluent" for 12 years now, after living abroad in Santiago, Chile as a Rotary foreign exchange student (great program, but that's another blog post). I don't usually struggle expressing myself. This one had me stumped. How do I explain curbside compost pickup in Spanish?!
The problem, I think, lies with English. We use the same word to describe the mix the kitchen scraps and weeds as we put into the pile, the action of composting, and the finished black gold we put into our gardens! I bet in most languages, these words are completely different.
My first attempt went something like this Nosotros recogemos la basura del jardin y de la cocina que se puede proccessar al abono. We pick up the trash from the garden and the kitchen which can be processed into fertilizer. QUE? Then I would follow up with examples, knowing I'd already lost them.
Today, I met an awesome guy from Mexico City who figured it out with me. He said he was a high school teacher of many things: social studies, science, and Spanish. Perfect! He explained composta is the word for compost. It's just not commonly used. Ready for the wording he gifted me?
Recolección de residuos biodegradables. O, recolección de residuos para composta.
So. Much. Better. Do you have a suggestion for how I can better explain Wompost in Spanish?
9/5/2019 11:26:01 pm
Learning Spanish is a tough thing. As a native American, I cannot simply grasp the language of the Spanish people. I am not saying that it is impossible, however, it will take a lot of work. I mean, I failed multiple Spanish classes during high school, so by this time, I think that I have to give up. Well, I really wish that I can learn it though, I have so much to know and so little time to do it.
1/23/2021 03:16:39 pm
I recently started your service and I too had to explain this to my mother when she asked what I was doing with my kitchen scraps. I would probably say,
1/25/2022 02:00:14 am
Learning Spanish is a difficult task. As a native American, I find it difficult to understand the Spanish language. I'm not saying it's impossible; nonetheless, it will need a significant amount of effort. I mean, I failed a lot of Spanish subjects in high school, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to give up now. But I truly hope I could learn it since I have so much to learn and so little time.
2/4/2022 01:11:27 pm
I use the word "composta" which according to my Mexican gardener is correct. And since I am the one composting, I have said, "voy a poner mis desechos o basura vegetales, pasto (grass) etcetera in my new "bote negro" which he has named my recycle bin. I enjoy struggling with our language translation as it occurs frequently.
1/31/2023 10:33:13 am
The business creates a nice atmosphere for its employees
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Howdy! I'm the Zero Waste Cowgirl, owner of Wompost and Recycle Almost Everything in Aurora, Colorado. I'm trying to clean up this dad gum world.