Showing posts with label language. Show all posts
Showing posts with label language. Show all posts

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fluent In One And A Half Languages

How many languages can you speak?

I was born in South Bronx, New York to Puerto Rican parents. When I was growing up everyone around me spoke Spanish: our family, friends, people in the neighborhood, everyone. It was normal for us.

Then when I was nine years old we moved to Ohio. Well lets just say it was a big culture shock. I can honestly say I can count on one hand the number of Hispanics I went to school with growing up, not counting family. Our family fell out of the habit of speaking Spanish on an everyday basis. By the time I reached high school I could barely scrap a few words together to form an understandable sentence. This is even after three years of Spanish class. Unbelievable right?!

So to the answer the question I would say I am fluent in one and a half language. Weird I know. I speak English fluently and I can understand Spanish almost completely. But for the life of me I cannot get my mouth to speak the words that form in my head. I'm not sure what my problem is. So at the most I speak Spanglish. I start with some Spanish words and throw in a few English ones to complete my sentence! My husband is amazed at how I could sit and have a long conversations with my Abuela. She will talk to me in Spanish and I will respond in English. Hey it works.

I do feel as if I am losing a bit of my heritage/culture since I don't speak fluent Spanish and I didn't teach it to my kids. I have told my husband that I want us as a family to work on learning Spanish next year - as part of our New Years goals. I think it would be good for us as a family. So we'll see how it will all work out.

How about you? How many languages do you speak?

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