I love foreign languages. The new sounds, the different expressions of the hands and face, the values and experiences that lie behind each word and phrase and idiom…languages are endlessly interesting.
They can also be endlessly frustrating. They are so hard to learn, especially the way we learn them in school. I studied French for nearly ten years, grew up with it here and there in the home, and have spent a significant amount of time in France. But, sadly, I can’t say I am fluent.
Despite all that, the beauty and mystery of foreign languages are undeniable. They’re part of why I went to France in the first place, where I met my cute husband. And they’re part of why I fell in love with him. Because while I can “speak French,” he can really speak Spanish. (Ay, amor.)
For years, I’ve been slowly trying to improve my Spanish. I want to be able to be closer to my husband’s family, near and far. I want to be able to speak Spanish in our home, with our future children. And, selfishly, I want to finally master a foreign language.
So far I’ve taken a semester of Spanish in college; I’ve played around with fun apps like DuoLingo; I’ve been lucky enough to travel to places like Spain, Panama, and the Dominican Republic; and of course I’ve practiced with my husband and his family. And I’ve learned a lot. But deep down, I’ve always known that the only way this is going to work is through full, long term immersion.
I’ve often bugged my husband to speak Spanish with me more at home, but we’ve never committed. But last week, I watched this excellent TED Talk, and I knew it was time to finally pull the trigger.
And so, friends, the hubs and I have commenced full, intense, frustrating Spanish immersion! In our home, out shopping, in our texts…it’s been hard, hilarious, and too much fun. It’s only been a couple of days but I can already feel myself picking up on the little things you usually don’t learn until later years of study, such as the different tenses, and things you may never really learn, like slang, intonation, and delivery. I’m having a fabulous time, and my husband is being wonderfully patient. (I think he secretly gets a kick out of seeing me struggle with words!) We both know that in the end, it will be worth it.
Deséame suerte! Besos!