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Today I Learned a New Language

Today I learned a new language. 

I’ve been learning Spanish for my upcoming trip to Costa Rica. 

Spanish isn’t completely foreign to me. I took a few classes in high school that I remember the basics from. And my time at DisneyWorld has kept “Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas” on repeat in my mind since childhood. So although I’m lacking a lot of vocab and some grammar, I can get by. 

Most of the time, I sound like a toddler learning to speak. 

It’s kind of fragmented and simple, but gets the point across. For example my almost 2-year-old nephew says, “Dada cup” instead of “That’s my Dad’s cup.” Or “boat wa-wa” instead of “There’s a boat in the water.” We know what’s saying, it’s just not a full sentence. 

This is what my Spanish is like. Instead of saying “I’ve been learning Spanish” I say, “Yo aprendo español.” Or in my more thoughtful moments, “I want to go to the beach” is “Yo quiero ir a la playa” but sometimes comes out just “Yo quiero la playa.” 

When my toddler nephew speaks this way, it’s cute! Everyone knows he’s learning, so even though he isn’t clear in his syntax or pronunciation, he communicates pretty well. Hopefully my Costa Rican amigos will perceive my broken Spanish in the same way. I’ll say what I can, they’ll correct me, we’ll laugh, and all will be well. 

And just like my nephew, I’m sure I’ll continue to say things incorrectly even after I learn the right way. He knows how to pronounce “water” but prefers to say “wa-wa.” I’m sure this is how I sound when rolling my r’s. 

Today I learned a new language. Hoy estoy aprendiendo español. Yo no hablo perfecto, pero comprendo más cada día. 

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