Adventures in Spanglish, of course.
Having not yet left the country, and living with Amelia, who speaks zero English, I’m picking up Spanish at an impressive rate. I’ve surprised myself how much I can understand – knowing French helps a bit there, but not a ton. I am also more impressed with how willing I am to actually speak it, how willing I am to fail at speaking it, really. I started learning French when I was seven years old, and seriously studying it when I was twelve. I can read near fluently, but still can’t carry on a worthwhile conversation… I mean, I could. I’m just afraid to fail, so I shy away – if we’re being honest.
Here, though, I can already feel that I am learning the Spanish language in such a different way. I won’t be able to sit down and read great authors of Spanish literature the way I have French. But I will be able to hear it, lend an ear to it, better understanding the accents and the order of words in sentences and conversation, growing more familiar with the expressions they use most frequently. I am learning Spanish very differently. And even if I leave here and never take it up again, perhaps it has helped most with mitigating my earnest fear of never being able to live day-t0-day in another language. I’m not so worried about it anymore. Maybe I’ll take a second look at graduate schools in France after all?