Monday, January 18, 2010

Una lengua extranjera

Date and Time: Sunday, January 17, 2010, 11 p.m.
Where: Our homestay
Listening to: Haley making fun of Tricia for taking 5 hours to do everything
Phrase of the day: “Sabes al restaurante de tapas que empiezo con la letra ‘c’ acerca de la Catedral?”

I just got really tired translating the phrase of the day, which I will explain later. I think the hardest thing for me as of now is constantly translating in my head and thinking of the right thing to say. It’s pretty exhausting, especially since I am used to being able to mentally check out several times a week (thanks lifeguarding). I feel like I’m always on red alert, noticing every detail and paying utmost attention. Not only do I need to do this for myself to better my surroundings and understand the Spanish culture, but I am also the translator for Haley and Laura.
Haley doesn’t know a word of Spanish except for what we have taught her so far. She’s a pro at “Lo siento.” Laura has taken Spanish in high school, but doesn’t know it like Tricia and I do. I can’t imagine how they feel at times, being in a place so different with no one knowing what you are saying. It must be hard. Maybe they should pay us for arranging all of their meals and daily interactions. Just saying. And kidding. Kind of.
It really makes me appreciate the fact that my dad knows Spanish, English, and Danish. He keeps us connected to our older relatives who don’t speak English, plus he gets us hotel rooms in small towns when we put the wrong type of gas in the rental car. Even though Sevilla is a larger city, no one knows English as well as they do in Denmark. It makes me more thankful that we are from there because it’s a lot more fun for us to visit when Karen, my sister, and I can socialize with our cousins instead of bicker with each other.
Overall, I’m very thankful that I have taken Spanish since fourth grade. My mom will totally be happy to hear that. Although my skills definitely don’t show the years I’ve spent studying it, I already feel that I am improving and getting a better hold of how to actually apply it to life. It’s a little hard to understand the infamous Spanish lisp, especially since here they drop some of the ending consonants and run the words together. They always drop the ‘s’ from “gracias” and anything else that’s on the end. So not only am I adapting to that change, but also to the strong Wisconsin accent of the other people in our program.
Got to goooooo (that’s supposed to be the Wisconsin accent on the ‘o’). Adiooooooo (the Spanish-Wisconsin way to say bye).

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