I am a day late and a dollar short, but yesterday I intended on posting the on 5th day of Bloguanuary, and it didn’t happen. The prompt for January 5th was “What is something you wish you knew how to do?”
I honestly have a laundry list of things I wish I knew how to do, but the one thing I’ve wanted to do but have failed at is learning a new language. I started learning French in high school and was excited to do this. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to discover that learning French in high school would not be a fruitful endeavor. It was mechanical and did not spark any interest in me. The only thing I learned was the fear of conjugating verbs and vocabulary. Two years after learning French, I added Spanish to my rooster and found that remarkable easier, but I still lacked the knowledge of the language.
This year I started learning Spanish again, but this time with a native Spanish speaker who refuses to use textbooks. Instead, she demands that I start this lesson off focusing on vocal-based—learning. So now, I am learning how to say words and sentences correctly. Slowly I am understand how the language is used and what it sounds like coming from a native speaker.
As we all know, in French, Spanish, and even English, words can be spelled a certain way but sound different coming from the natural tongue. In Spanish, the word for Cup is “La Taza” and in Italian, it’s Tazza. La Taza looks like an easy word to say, but coming from a native speaker, it sounds like they are replacing z with th. So now it sounds like “tha-tha,” and all traces of the letter z has vanished.
I want to learn Spanish this year and see how far I can get with it. If I learned how to speak the language this year at a basic level of fluency, perhaps I could move on to writing and reading later. Then I can move on to French, and eventually, I can be tri-lingual.
The shocking part about all of this is that I have relatives who speak Spanish and French very well. Poor me growing up on an island influenced by England, only managed to master one language.