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.
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.
Conozco poco, pero tan poco, de Latinoamérica. Hay tanto para explorar--desiertos, selvas, ruina, ciudades, glaciares, culturas distintas... No es mi patria, ni la de mis padres. No me llama a la sangre, me llama a la imaginación.
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
When I came to Costa Rica, I sacrificed my ability to express myself properly so I could learn a new language. When I returned to the U.S. at the end of last year, I learned there was just a bit of a backlash in returning my own tongue. I discovered gaps I had never realized existed… Continue reading Irreplaceable Spanish Words
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
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