Tuesday 10 June 2014

Hablo Español

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"To have another language is to possess a second soul."

As part of my effort not to take myself too seriously, I am trying to learn to speak better Spanish. Full disclosure: I am not a newbie at this. My husband speaks only Spanish to our little Ps, so I hear the language spoken everyday in our home. However, I have always been, let’s say, reticent about speaking Spanish with him. There was an incident some years ago where there was a bit of poking fun, and I haven’t recovered. I abhor doing things I’m not good at. But I am declaring it “Time to Get Over Yourself” Day, and I am going at this undertaking in earnest.

Now the question is, how? My first step is to speak Spanish to the little Ps. I can dance like a full-on fool in front of them; they can handle my attempts at Spanish speaking. We’ve also instituted “Lunes Latinos,” meaning my husband and I only speak Spanish to each other on Mondays. These are now days that I take notes of all of the things I want to tell him that I can’t formulate in Spanish. I draft emails to send the next day. Cop out? Yes.

I suppose that at some point, I will have to engage in the world in Spanish, because that is the point of this exercise. I want to travel to South America and ask researchers there about the decimation of the rain forest, about the local remedies for teething, about what’s the best seafood to eat at what time of year. I want my resistant-to-Spanish six-year-old to see that I can do it.

Maybe a Spanish holiday is in order?

I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and tackle a project with a sense of play instead of with obligation, rote, or worry about failing. Let’s all fail fabulously or maybe succeed beyond our wildest imaginings. Just play the game.

Is there something you want to try, but are too self-conscious to give it a go?

More to explore:



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  1. I can't be more excited at the thought of second languages..I read a lot about how children have physiology built into them to absorb different grammars etc and when my girls were 2-3, I started teaching them Spanish. At 7 and 6, they both speak fluently and have recently started studying French which they find so simple because of the similarity to Spanish. Brill that you're giving it a go, all the best! Will be following your journey ;P

    1. Hi Kanch, thanks for stopping by. How have you been teaching your girls Spanish/French? Do you speak either?

  2. Love this, so good to feel a little out of our comfort zone. I am a British Greek and really need to speak Greek more to the kids, my folks do but I think I need to brush up my own skills and make a point of speaking to them more-I used to be great at French too, so much easier when you spend time in that country (here's to living in the South of France half the year)-a girl can dream! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

    1. Thanks for reading, Honest Mum. I agree, it can be a challenge to go the extra step and make a point of speaking to the kids more in another language--we're already trying to do so much with them! My husband does say that it keeps his Spanish fresh, though. And yes, South of France half the year? Count me in. If only for keeping our French fresh, no? ;-)