A Quarter Century Addendum

The Lazier I Am, the Lazier I Get (or: Why I’m Losing My Spanish)

I speak Spanish a few times a week at my job and my mouth quickly gets tired and clumsy from the unfamiliar shapes it has to make.  The only reason I remember the word for "hole" is because I have huecos in my vocabulary.  I stopped straining to understand new accents and simply tell people to slow down if I can't understand them.

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Chapter 1: The Quest for Pura Vida · Chapter 5: How to Grow Roots

Feliz Día de la Madre Costarricense!

Es interesante.  Le llamo mi mamá tica, pero mi relación con ella no siente como una relación entre madre e hija. Ni es como una amistad, ni una tutoría, ni ninguna otra relación convencional.  Es algo único que no existiría en otro caso. 

Chapter 2: The Way Less Traveled By

Learning a New Language: Not Even Once

I liked learning Spanish.  A lot. Not because it was easy (it wasn't).  Maybe because it's the hardest thing I've ever done.  I'm not a "natural" language learner--if such a thing exists.  Every word I know and every sentence that comes out smoothly when I talk has hundreds, or maybe thousands, of incomprehensible attempts at… Continue reading Learning a New Language: Not Even Once

Chapter 1: The Quest for Pura Vida

Spanish is Not One Language, or: Costa Ricans Talk Funny, or: Why None of My Latino Friends in Texas Will be Able to Understand Me

When people told me we don't learn "real life" Spanish in school, they meant we don't learn Tex-Mex Spanglish or even Mexican Spanish.  And that's true.  But we also don't learn Spanish from Spain, Argentinian Spanish, Costa Rican Spanish, or Lived-In-Chile-Until-I-Was-Ten-But-Learned-All-My-Curse-Words-And-Sexual-References-In-Mexico Spanish. So the question is, what did we learn?  All I know is, when… Continue reading Spanish is Not One Language, or: Costa Ricans Talk Funny, or: Why None of My Latino Friends in Texas Will be Able to Understand Me

Chapter 1: The Quest for Pura Vida

First Bit of Creative Writing in a Foreign Language

As I've (probably) mentioned before, I am in a creative writing class in Costa Rica.  Besides the fact that taking a creative writing class is a good idea in general, I was inspired to take a writing class in another language by a friend of mine.  She was an exchange student from Mexico who took… Continue reading First Bit of Creative Writing in a Foreign Language