Saturday, March 03, 2007

La langue maternelle or Lingo de Gringos!

Language is fascinating!

This afternoon I have been speaking with my mum who is currently trying to learn Spanish. As a household we regularly went to France for vacation time and therefore we spoke French, with the exception of my father, who had the vision that if he wore a flat cap and socks with his sandals and then repeated his desire in a louder volume he would be understood wherever he went - sorry dad, but 'tis true! That said, he always managed to get that extra good bottle of vin rouge and moules frites. I think over the years, to his credit, he has become better at learning Franglais!

Here in America, the second language is Spanish and all the children have had Spanish assistants in their classes and T. is now taking Spanish lessons. They are continually imersed in Spanish on an almost daily basis and even if they don't become fluent in it before we return to the UK, they will certainly find language learning far easier than us oldies do. There is research to say that the earlier children start to learn a second language the easier it will be for them to pick up a third or fourth. It is all to do with exercising a certain part of the brain before the age of around 8 years old, it is then harder to do after this age ( a highly simplistic point of view, I apologise!)

So as an adult both my mum and I are finding another language much harder to learn (my mum less than me perhaps because she is of an era where very formal english was taught in school and therefore totally understands the multitude of verbs and tenses!) So she is favouring the book and CD approach, whereas my approach has been much more "on the job!!" I, on the otherhand, have picked up most of the little Spanish I know up from school or a bit when I travelled to Central America as a student, so as you can imagine, it tends to have a rather childish vein to it or is fuelled by my desire for something to drink.

In fact, all in all, my Spanish is somewhat lacking!

I will, to prove this point, leave you today with my Spanish repetoire showing you that, like my father's approach years ago, it is not necessarily about the amount of a language that you can speak that gets you the best things in life.

"Hola, senor, uno cueva por favor. Donde es te patas e pantalone? Mas!"

See, a pint and rampant sex - what more could a girl ask for?(albeit if he is wearing slippers, I figure he might be rather elderly!!)

Hasta luego amigos!!
The Beehive

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