A Trip to Old Town San Juan and an Addition to the Eurodictionary Travel

This last weekend, M (my husband), decided it was time to get me out of the house. We opted to play “tourists at home” and headed out to old town San Juan Capistrano to eat lunch, visit the mission, and enjoy the cool air and historic sights. I managed to take a few pictures with my phone (we didn’t decide where to go until after we were on the freeway) and so I thought I would share a few.

The Mission

The Mission of San Juan Capistrano is over 200 years old and is seen as a place of historical, cultural, and religious importance. It was founded in 1775 by Father Lasuen, but due to a revolt in San Diego, was abandoned, then later re-founded by Father Serra in 1776. The mission was established to convert natives into Spanish citizens as well as Catholics, and was seen as a center for training and educating native people.

Mission San Juan Capistrano | EurolinguisteMission San Juan Capistrano | Eurolinguiste

By the early 1800s, the mission had over 1,000 people and a Great Stone Church, but due to an earthquake in 1812 and increasing morality rate due to disease, the mission’s population began to decline. With the success of Mexico’s fight for independence against Spain in 1821, the mission continued to decline and in 1834 Mexico ended the mission system entirely. In 1845, the mission was sold by Governor Pio Pico to John Forster and for 20 years, the mission was used as a private ranch property. In 1848, the United States won California in the Mexican American War and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Mission San Juan Capistrano | Eurolinguiste
In 1850, California was incorporated as a state, and many Californian religious leaders asked that the missions be returned to the Catholic Church. President Abraham Lincoln responded by giving back the missions, and in the following years, a significant amount of preservation work was completed.

For more information on the mission:


Mission San Juan Capistrano

26801 Ortega Hwy

San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675


The Addition to the Eurodictionary

Mission San Juan Capistrano | EurolinguisteMission San Juan Capistrano | Eurolinguiste

When we got back home, we were both sunburnt and tired (we had performed in San Diego the two nights before – and not together coincidentally) . Neither of us were very fluent in either of our languages and so there were several potential additions to the Eurodictionary. Unfortunately, due to the fatigue, I only remembered to write one down.

I was trying to plug my phone charger into the wall and only one of the outlets work. I couldn’t remember which it was, so I of course plugged it into the wrong one first. The outlet is behind a piece of furniture, so it took quite a bit of maneuvering to get the charger unplugged to plug it back into the working slot. I finally succeeded and my husband asked me, “is it working?” My response was, “yes, it marches.”

In French, the word “to work” is marcher. Because I was tired, I used the French word in the context. The worst part was, that not only did I use the word in the wrong language in my sentence, but I also gave it the English pronunciation. In French the -es would be silent, and the -es would also only be โ€“e if properly conjugated, so the word would have been pronounced “march,” as in “oui, รงa marche.” I not only used the French word, but conjugated in English and pronounced it in English – therefore “marches.” I actually slapped myself in the forehead for that one.

Do you ever play the tourist at home? If you do, what are your favorite places to visit?

Mission San Juan Capistrano | EurolinguisteMission San Juan Capistrano | Eurolinguiste

Mission San Juan Capistrano | EurolinguisteMission San Juan Capistrano | Eurolinguiste


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I'm a language lover, traveler and musician sharing my adventures and language learning tips over at Eurolinguiste. Join me on Facebook for daily language learning and travel tips!

  • Love your pictures! Makes me miss my wedding since I got married at Francisco Garden and we took some wedding pictures in the mission! It’s such a cute town!

    • It is a cute town! I love going out to just stroll around even if we don’t visit the mission.

      I’m sure your wedding was beautiful!

  • Love this!! Thanks for linking up. ๐Ÿ™‚ I feel like California has so many different places to explore.. I don’t even know how to tackle them all. I will have to add this to my list of places when we go back to the area next time!

    • It’s pretty great! There’s a winery nearby, the mission (which actually was the first place to bring wine to California), the restaurants on the street are great and there’s a nice diversity, on the other side of the train tracks there are tea shops and more restaurants and you’re near Dana Point which has fun tide pools, caves at the end of a hike and the harbor. And just a little farther south is San Clemente which I also love.

  • oh cool!! i visited the msjc last year but regret not being able to explore it further. thanks for sharing the history about it… i had no idea it originally was spanish, then mexican, before it was taken over the states. walking there really is like walking back into time, it’s really cool. =)

    i love the idea of your ‘eurodictionary.’ i could probably author my own dictionary too, but it’d have asian languages added into it too. i have one coworker whom i speak 3 languages with, within one conversation, and sometimes its so confusing that all we can do afterwards is laugh. eurodictionary is such a creative idea!

    and i totally laughed aloud when you said “marches” with your english accent because i automatically assumed you said it with the french accent. =)

    • Thank you! I hope you get to visit again one day so you get a chance to explore.

      That’s so cool that you can speak three languages with one person in one conversation. Which languages are they?

      • we speak english, spanish, and khmer! i can speak minimal cantonese and french, but can’t carry much conversation. my friend though is pentalingual and speaks those 3, plus french and mandarin!

        • Wow! That’s impressive. I’m a bit jealous you have someone who shares three languages with you ๐Ÿ™‚

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