When Your First Language Is Spanish, But English Has Taken Over Your Life
Is Spanish your first language? Maybe, like so many of us, you started off speaking exclusively Spanish, picking up English later on at school, and then… FORGOT IT ALL. But don’t feel alone in this, fellow pochos / gringozados.
It’s a pretty common issue, so let’s vent about it together:
1. You end up doing a lot of smiling and nodding.
? I have no idea what’s going on. ?
2. You miss out on precious, precious chisme.
This one hurts the most. Tía Concha did WHAT with WHOM back in the day?
3. Speaking to a relative on the phone becomes an awkward, horrifying nightmare.
“Habla con tu tía.”
4. Your older relatives judge you…
5. …And your younger relatives bond with you more closely.
Because chances are pretty good that you’re all in the same boat now (the HMS Niños Americanizados).
6. You basically only remember old nursery rhymes, kids’ songs and prayers.
“Angel de mi sana sana ranita, dulce compania…”
7. You hear a lot about how you’re so “shy” now.
But, really, you’re just not sure how to say what you want to say!
8. Although Spanish definitely comes more easily when you’re mad or talking to a pet/baby.
Don’t ask me why these things are true; they just are.
9. You mostly speak Spanish by what “sounds” right…
Because, for you, Spanish isn’t about grammar rules, it’s just about a feeling.
10. …Which can get hella confusing.
Estoy bueno. I mean, estoy bien. Soy bien. Both?
11. …And also leads to you avoiding verbs like the plague.
Don’t worry: You’re not the only one feeling the pain of conjugation.
12. Sometimes, you even mix languages up.
Très bueno indeed.
13. Accents will be the death of you.
Sure, you can understand perfect “newscaster Spanish,” but throw in a fast-talking Cuban or an Argentine swapping “ll’s” for “jjjjhhhjggg’s” and you’re @#$%ed.
14. And you become self-conscious about your own accent when speaking Spanish.
It used to be so perfect! Let’s just blame television for this. Deal? Deal.
15. Children’s movies with subtitles become a lifesaver.
What better way to relearn the Spanish you’ve woefully forgotten than by listening to “The Circle of Life” in español.
16. You sometimes feel like a huge @#$%ing disappointment.
You can’t help it. You wish you were better at this!
17. But you know this doesn’t define you.
And you’re still completely, perfectly Latino, no matter what level of Spanish (or Portuguese, lest we forget our Brazilian cousins) you speak. <3
So, tell us. How’s your Spanish these days?