Monday, August 4, 2014

English Makes me Lazy

As an American I speak English...obviously.  I took the obligatory and elective Spanish Classes in school so I have the speaking and understanding proficiency of a 3-year-old Spanish speaker....with an auditory processing delay. This means that every time a fluent Spanish speaker speaks to me, it takes a lonnnnggg time for me to process.  I've learned a few key phrases to explain to said Native Spanish speaker such as "Yo entiendo mas que hablarlo", and "Despacio por favor", and "No se'" to get myself out of sticky situations. 

Recently I went to Paris, where Spanish is NOT the official language. Being the slightly-more-than-moderate achiever that I am, I had to learn some French so as not to appear to be an ignorant American. I HATE to be the person who doesn't know what's up. But as I was getting French tutoring (see link below), I was comforted in knowing that as an English speaker, I'll rarely be alone. EVERYBODY SPEAKS ENGLISH. Well, not everybody speaks English but most countries that bill themselves as a tourist trap have plenty of English speakers and accommodations. With that understanding, I've found that non-Americans are so impressed when Americans know facts about their country, culture, and their language. That's a little insulting isn't it?  Oh well, I know that as an American who travels abroad, all I need to do is learn a few key phrases of my host country's language to be impressive. Thus, English makes me lazy. 

My French Tutor-Podcasts on Itunes:
 Coffee Break French
The lessons were short and focused on themes. They taught relevant dialogue. I listened to Lessons 1-10 twice as I was on a deadline to get "tres bien!"  
They also have other language tutorials available. 

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