Monday, November 14, 2005

Spanish & Meg

Everyday I murder the Spanish language a little less and I feel better about this illusion that I have, that some day I might actually become fluent or bilingual (although I am finding that the definitions of such words are in the midst of debate). Either way, I just want to be able to express feelings, complete and correct thoughts, as well as some common jokes. Then I might be happy.

And today I got a little closer to that goal.

I had a conversation with a coworker today about Mercedes Sosa, a brilliant vocalist who has this song called Todo Cambia, and it simply makes me melt.

The fact that I can talk about such beautiful music at least a little bit, and have the person across from me understand what I am saying, and also understand how much I truly enjoy the song, makes me wonder, and actually believe that I am progressing just fine.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...when someone calls, I still can’t understand what the Hell they are saying to me on the other end of the line, and so our conversation goes a little bit like this...

Them: "Blah, blah blah (a word I understand) blah, blah"
Meg: "Oh si?"
Them: "Blah, blah (oh, another good word), blah"
Meg: "Oh, gracias...adios"

Please note: In real life, things aren’t that bad. I get along just fine, but just imagine speaking a foreign language over the phone. A lot more depends on expressions than you think. I’ve learned that the hard way from language assessments over the phone. Some really smart people in some really important offices call me, blab about stuff in Spanish...I attempt to answer them...the interview is over...I feel like crap. Trust me, it’s a dumb idea and experience you don’t really want in life.

So to sum up, my progress with the Spanish language is getting better and I’m just glad I’m not trying to learn Swahili, because that seems more difficult. But somewhere in my head I’ve decided I want to learn Portuguese and French too (languages of the developing world), but I really have to slow down on these thoughts because I still have to master Spanish.


Chris said...

Hey Mego!
I totally know what you mean about learning another language... my French is progressing in the same way and I have breakthrough moments where I'm so proud and think it's a breeze, and there are other times when I can do nothing but smile and nod and know that it's just enough to be with people at times and not have to say anything. It's also strange to think about the terms that I'm learning here- I had a conversation with a nun about the embroidery on a shirt the other day and understood all of it but at times I'm completely lost on some pretty basic things.
Nonetheless, I've decided that I want to learn spanish next so how about I'll teach you French and you teach me Spanish at the end of our time with CRS? I think the best way to do it is to just travel around the world a bit, n'est-ce pas?
Continue to stay safe and send these great updates!
sending love to you from burkina faso,

Mysterious Me said...

You are so right smeby..being with people is the key...thanks for putting that in perspective for me!