Sunday, May 12, 2013

Living in Another Language

Well, I've been living in Spain for 2 days now and completely living in another language. Everything 24/7 is in Español, but I am surviving and really getting the hang of it! It is actually difficult for me to write these two blog posts in English. My whole day happens in Spanish (speaking, listening, hearing) and everything is explained in Spanish, so I just associate this whole world with the Spanish version of it and for some things here, I only know the Spanish word for them. When I want to write English, I think about it in Spanish and then translate it into English to write. It's really weird, and I'm sure it'll only get worse. Haha. Even when I'm with the other kids from our program, we speak Spanish to each other unless we get really confused. It's just "normal" now. I was just talking to Kari here and she said the same thing, which makes me feel better about it! Constantly thinking in Spanish :) I was talking to Erin (Love you, girl!) for a teeny bit earlier and the Spanish TV was on at the time and I was really struggling to write in English.

I have a story I wanted to tell you, Erin Lurie, but it's sort of funny so I'll share it on here. When we were walking through the supermercado yesterday, my little sister (She's 8 now, remember), asked me if I wanted to hear a really fun word in Spanish. Of course I said yes, and she rattled off this long and complex word. It did sound pretty cool. I asked her to explain it, and she pointed to a muscle in her neck, and then said she knows the word in English too, and said it in English twice. Erin--it's that SUPER weird muscle thing in our necks that's a super long word that you told me all about that one day! You know exactly the word I'm talking about, and I can't even remember it myself. PLEASE TELL ME AGAIN. I laughed out loud. It was so funny and cute and reminded me of how excited about that word you were as well :) So I am learning many new words (some useful, some not) all the time here.

My Spanish skills have improved tremendously even though it has been just two days. I am able to think faster which means I can speak faster and it makes more sense. I am also understanding more and more that people say and having to ask them to repeat it or explain much less than I was yesterday. One thing I find very interesting is that I have never really understood the whole direct/indirect object in Spanish and have never used it at all unless I have to on a test. I use it all the time now and have total control over it. When I am speaking Spanish all the time, it gets annoying to have to repeat an object and using 'it' is sooo much nicer.

I have had many compliments from adults here about my Spanish pronounciation and skills, which is so nice to hear from native speakers. I am excited to keep increasing my skills while I am here. In my Psych class at UND, when we learned about languages our teacher said there is no set definition of fluency, but he defines it as when you can speak and understand a language without having to translate it into English in between. I am starting to be able to do that and hope to be very fluent and skilled by the end of my 6 weeks!

I have my first day of classes in the morning, which is actually placement exams and one dance class, so I should probably get to sleep. Buenas noches todos!! Que lo pasen bien mañana!

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