Thursday, December 9, 2010


Listening to languages with an untrained ear is an interesting concept. When you don't know what to listen for, all of the words and sentences run together as one.
My Colombian sister once told me that prior to learning the English language, she thought that it sounded like we conversed underwater. I assume that this is due to our excessive usage of the letter "w."
My previous two sentences are fantastic example- "(w)once" "we" "were" "water" "lang(w)age."
I totally get it.
I could relate to her in this moment because, prior to learning Spanish, it always sounded to me that native Spanish speakers talked a kajillion miles per minute...must be something in the water.

It is an idea similar to any adjustment, I suppose. It is simply a matter of taking the time to think it through. Take, for example, the very first day of college (or work)- how expansive were the grounds, how foreign were the faces, and how unfamiliar were the routines. Four years later and you could undoubtedly walk the length of the entire campus with your eyes closed.
Impressive as that is, do you ever stop to think about that coveted first day when your perspective was so fresh and so untainted? When you didn't know what to look for or where to start?

When something has become so monotonously familiar it is difficult to believe that it could ever have emitted any degree of intimidation or confusion.
But it did.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I never realized the extent of the "W" in the English language. I loved this! I grew up speaking both Hmong and English and would LOVE to learn Spanish one day. Are you fluent?