QUOTE

Why I Don't Speak Spanish

Well, I mostly blame God.

There I was… a nerdy 8th grader praying fervently about an important decision in my life.  Should I sign up to take French or Spanish?  Most of my friends were taking Spanish because… well… it was smart and practical.  For some reason, I felt inexplicably drawn to French. 

So I was praying.  I pretty much knew my future hung in the balance and if I was irrationally leaning towards French, God must have a plan.

So I jumped in.  8th grade… high school… college… I learned French.  And I have spent the rest of my life trying to forget it. 

It was in the middle of college that I began to realize that a good percentage of my closest friends spoke Spanish as their first language.  I would sit at the table in the cafeteria, pick out various words I recognized, and make up my own entire conversations around these stray nouns.  Fun? Yes. Real? No. 

I can say that there are many similarities between French and Spanish, which have aided me in my quest to learn Spanish.  But as I sat in a wooden chair during Spanish language school in Xela, Guatemala guessing pomme  for every piece of fruit until a picture of an apple was finally shown and I practically shouted it with smug satisfaction and was still wrong…. did I truly feel that it has been less than helpful.

But I absolutely LOVE language… it began with an obsession with English that still continues.  In fact, I once made an announcement that I would never date someone with English as a second language because I needed word jokes and nuisances were too important to me. 

As with most sweeping statements I make, God laughs as He brings them around to bite me.  So He introduced me to a super smart bilingual guy who can make word jokes in two languages, leaving me scrambling to keep up.

So I enjoy my “late-in-life-according-to-bilingual-recommendations” challenge.  And it’s fun to try to learn language alongside my daughter.  Right now, we are watching Sid, El Niño Scientifico, and the repetition and juvenile target audience help me to learn new words and have Spanish songs dancing through my head all day.  I still nurse wild fears about her bilingualism and that she will one day weave Spanglish word jokes with speed and accuracy that will wow and terrify her papa and me as we both scramble to keep up. 

But, you know, there’s a lot worse things a 3-year old could do….

Did you take a language in high school or college?  Has it been useful?  Do you wish you’d taken something different? 

Photo credit: Dog Madic



3 comments

  1. Tikva7:52 AM

    I chose Spanish, speak it fluently and now I ended up marrying a French speaker and living in a French speaking country. Life is funny. So, now it is time to start conjugating verbs all over again. You can definitely learn Spanish. Spelling is much easier than French and pronunciation is also less difficult. Try a free website like www.duolingo.com or https://conjuguemos.com/ All the exposure and work you put into it will definitely pay off.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tikva4:05 PM

    I chose Spanish, speak it fluently and now I ended up marrying a French
    speaker and living in a French speaking country. Life is funny. So, now
    it is time to start conjugating verbs all over again. You can
    definitely learn Spanish. Spelling is much easier than French and
    pronunciation is also less difficult. Try a free website like
    www.duolingo.com or https://conjuguemos.com/ All the exposure and work
    you put into it will definitely pay off.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for this encouragement, Tikva! Life IS funny. :)

    ReplyDelete

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