Friday, August 31, 2012

40 WEEKS OF ME- Week 5, Language

I wish I was a polyglot.

I keep hoping that my parents are right and that if I try real hard I'll finally become fluent in another language. Then I remind myself that if it hasn't sunk in after 40 years, chances are good (not impossible) that the most I can aspire to reach is  bi, possibly trilingual status before I leave this world.

So where does this leave me. I am a mini polyglot. Micro, minuscule, barely worthy of whispering the name. I know how to say thank you in seven languages. It's always good to be polite, especially if you're lost in Mexico (spring break in San Felipe was a little crazy during my college days). I can get by with rudimentary Spanish. Enough so I wouldn't starve and could find el bano if I had to pee.

Okay, I speak Spanish a little better than that, but most native speakers find my attempts hilarious. I am stubborn, so I keep trying even in the face of abject humiliation.

Because of my Creole roots, you'd think my father would've taught me French so I could at least communicate with the family elders, but he didn't. I think this is fairly common in many families. Unfortunately, this is the reason Louisiana French Creole is in danger of dying out.

My dad is fluent in French, Spanish, and Korean from when he was stationed in S. Korea. He spoke Creole to coomunicate with French military officers when they were stationed together in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. So, French Creole is my second language to work on getting fluent in

To be considered a polyglot, you have to be fluent in four languages. Sticking with a romance languages would be the smartest move to achieve success. Italian should come next; however, I'm more fluent in Korean.

Let me clarify that by saying that I understand quite a bit of Korean now (all of my K-dramas are paying off). I'm also learning to read it. It's easy to memorize Hangul, the Korean alphabet if you put it to song. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star works for memorizing the consonants. Unfortunately, my  ability to wrap my tongue around pronouncing the words correctly is sadly pathetic. 

I am leaving Japanese fluency to my daughter. If anyone in my family has the ability to take after my father's innate language skills, it is her. At least she knows the difference between Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji without having to Google it. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm always envious of those who can speak more than even just ONE language. My one and only is English ;)


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