American in Spain

Se Acabó El Turno - The Turn Is Over

May 31, 2011

Se acabó el turno - video thumbThis morning it was raining, so we couldn't go outside for Nora to release her toddler energy in the playground. At one point she started going on and on about "Se acabó el turno" which means "The turn is over". It makes about the same amount of sense in both languages. My best hypothesis is that it's something that the daycare workers tell the kids as they rotate one child out of a high chair and put another one in. Or perhaps when they are forced to share toys? I've certainly never said it to her in Spanish, nor have I heard anyone else speak those words. The only reason that I'm posting the largely nonsensical video is that it's a wonderful example of her rhetorical body language. She gestures a lot lately. I've elected not to subtitle it, since I can only understand about 10% of what she says, and I do a pretty good job of following her stream of topics with English followup questions in the video. One expression she uses a lot is "Pis pas" ("in a flash" or "in no time at all"), which is often paired with a hand clap in the phrase "Pis pas, ¡se acabó!" ("It's done in a jiffy!")

It's quite long, and I probably wouldn't watch it all if it were your kid, so don't feel bad if your mind wanders to more cognitively coherent topics and you decide to switch it off.

I played it for Nora tonight and she kept saying to the television, "Se acabó el turno? What does that mean, Nora?" Afterwards, we watched some older videos; she thought this one was hilarious, cracking up and shouting "Nora fell down!" every time the baby fell over. It's amazing how much she's changed. I barely recognize the baby in the older videos, which makes me all the more glad that I'm recording even nonsensical videos like this one, because they will become invaluable to our family over time.