Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Rolling the Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Last week I was in Barcelona, Spain for 4 days with my brother.  Despite taking Spanish for 12 years in grammar school, I do not remember much.  However, in emergency situations, which there were few, I could belt out some Spanish, which sounded good to me…until the person I was chatting with responded in English.

By the end of the trip, I did actually have two scenarios where I asked for directions, and the person responded in Spanish and I understood where to go.  The problem with Spanish, for me, is that I cannot roll my ‘R’s.  A necessary skill in Spanish.  My brother took 9 years of Spanish, and can speak much better than me, as he did take an extra year of higher level Spanish, and he can roll his ‘R’s.  To make up for this, I excel in many other languages, like French which I recently picked up and can speak the basics quite well.  I am also fluent (self-taught) in American Sign Language, and teaching myself British Sign Language now.  The people of Barcelona do not speak Spanish, French, ASL, or BSL or English, rather than speak Catalun – a very confusing type of Spanish, that is mixed with French for the special people that live in Catalonia.  Most signs and menus were written in Catalun, Spanish, French and English, or at least Catalun and French.  Kenny, my brother, could sometimes figure out the Catalonian language based on his Spanish skills, as could I – less of the time.  I could also use the helpful hints of French, and I took Latin for two years in high school, for which I can read and write, and is helpful for any romance language like Spanish, French and Italian.  Anyway, turns out I took the wrong language for 12 years of school – I should have been taking French, or something that I had more of a chance to pronounce correctly.  I still plan to work on my Spanish, as it’s a good language to know as a teacher, but my achievements in other languages reassure me that I am actually quite decent in languages, with the exception of Spanish.  Phew.

Maybe next, I’ll try to learn something quite random…Swahili?

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