Anyway, during one of our vocabulary lessons, I discovered that canasta is not Italian at all (and it doesn’t mean backstabber). It’s Spanish for basket. This is really confusing, because we never used a basket. We used a double-dished, plastic container that barely held most of the cards. Apparently, the Spaniards took the time to weave baskets large enough for this purpose. We, on the other hand, wanted to get straight to the bloodletting.
So, seeing this blast from my past, my curiosity was aroused. With my extensive background in the Spanish language, I quickly interpreted the sentence to mean, “No children in the basket.” It also helped that the English translation was printed directly above the Spanish words. With a sigh of relief, I determined I was safe from the Canasta Police, as I had no niños on my person (nor was I playing cards).
The point to all this is my New Year’s resolution from about four years ago—to become more fluent in my second language.
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