Hola, amigos. It has been quite a while since I have blogged and I am excited to get going again. Since I last left there have been quite a lot of adventures that I have partaken, some in particular were me posing with a jay-hawk and slipping on the ice and landing on my tush, rather comically. Going off on a tangent…
Learning another language is a major challenge. Just ask me, who still can’t manage to get that fantastic “rolled r” sound down. I just sound ridiculous when I try. In particular, I have been trying to learn Spanish which I seem to be more comfortable with learning than other foreign tongues. It’s not just about memorizing a long list of words translated from English. You have to speak the words in complete sentences and try to have a fluent conversation. In real life you aren’t going to have the luxury of having the conversation slowed down so you can understand what is being said. No, in reality, those frigging Mexicans and what nots seem to speak a mile a minute that you wonder if the people native to that language can even understand. Like speeding up a song so that it is barely comprehensible. And unlike English, if you say a word a particular way, for instance, it could mean something else and possibly offend someone. And in some of the most ruthless countries that most likely means getting stabbed and left to die alone. Oh, the horror.
Anyways…it is a work in progress and by no means will I succeed at having the trusty weapon of a second language tucked under my belt in a matter of weeks. It might take months or even years to finally watch a movie in Spanish without the English subtitles on. Spanish is a beautiful and artful language that is more flexible than standard American-speak. Words can be rearranged to convey different meanings, unlike English which follows strict guidelines unless you are Shakespeare or Yoda (Different ways, arranged these words they be). I’m getting into the meat and potatoes of an independent at home Spanish course online. It seems to be helping me and I have managed to string a couple of sentences together without the help of Google Translate. Hooray for me. I’m off to a nice start but doubt I will get to the point of speaking effortlessly without paying top dollar for the whole deal, the whole lesson package. If I bought that then I could learn the lessons on the go or when I’m out for walks, instead of being tied down to my computer. One night while my dad was snoozing I was repeating words from the Spanish course in a normal speaking voice. He overheard me and said, between chainsaw snores, “Be quiet”.
Another fantasy of mine has been to visit another country such as China and immerse my self in the language of the land. I’ve heard that’s the most effective way to start building up your confidence because I would be among people of different culture and background. As soon as I got used to their ways the language portion would not seem like such a challenge to me anymore. It would become an extension of myself in a sort of way, another part of me that I can switch on and off whenever the situation calls for it.
Then again, getting dumped into a country I have no experience with would feel like a nightmare for a while. I wouldn’t know what was being said or if people were saying things about me that weren’t very nice. I guess it would be helpful to have a translator on my side. I could be like Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai, learning Chinese rather quickly and fluently and then fighting a huge hoard of angry Chinamen and living to tell the tale. Nothing like a fish out of water, eh?
Well, next time I talk I should be able to go a restaurant and order my meal in Spanish – to the annoyance of the waitress who I might impress and score a date with. Or not.
See you later. ¡Hasta la vista, lectores y seguidores!