Joe Keenan has lived in Latin America for 30 years. As a lover of language, he began writing down sayings he heard in various communities, from Mexico to Brazil.
“People don’t usually say things just according to what a dictionary tells them,” Keenan says. “They pull off this huge reserve of expressions, really.”
Keenan has turned his scribbled notes into a book called “Dichos: The Wit and Whimsy of Spanish Sayings.”
“Part of my work involved working in rural areas – in campesino communities in Mexico,” Keenan says. “And being a foreigner, it helps to communicate when you start learning some of the dichos and you can repeat them back to people.”
Keenan asked friends to contribute dichos, too.
“It tilts Mexican because that’s where a lot of my experience in Spanish was,” he says.
The book is intended to be both humorous and profound, expressing wisdom that “lets you see the world in a different way,” Keenan says.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.