languages that are not english

Did I mention I’m back at work? Yep, I’ve been at the Foreign Service Institute learning Spanish for these past five weeks. Nineteen more to go until I’m a professionally proficient Spanish speaker, though I have my doubts about that timeline.

Everyone assured me that my French would make learning Spanish a breeze. I’m not so sure. The linguistic corner of my brain seems to be divided into two sections: 1) English, and 2) Languages That are Not English. There’s just no controlling what comes out when I open my mouth in class. Sometimes it’s Spanish. Just as often it’s French. Pretty frequently it’s a French word bastardized with a Spanish accent — or more accurately, what sounds like a Spanish accent to my ear that is definitely not yet accustomed to a Spanish accent.

We’re both in a little over our heads.

So, yeah, language learning could be going better.

But at least the FSI cafeteria now has sushi.

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2 Responses to languages that are not english

  1. Suzanne says:

    Hi Alex,
    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog posts – I found it while searching for ConGen (I just applied for an instructional design job working on that course – so it was fun to read what you were doing!)

    I also teach ESL and study second language acquisition, (and have struggled with that crazy language mix-up you describe – Spanish and German for me!) All of a sudden, things will click… the brain is an amazing thing.

    Best of luck with Spanish – and if you have time and would like to share more about ConGen experience – what you liked/what worked and what didn’t.. I’d love to hear more!!

    Thanks in advance (if you have the time).

  2. Caitlin says:

    Jajaja- Que gracioso, todo el mundo tiene las dos cajas de idiomas: Ingles y otros…
    Quelle drole, tout le monde a deux boites des langues: Anglais et autres..
    Oh, sorry – everyone has two boxes of languages: English and the rest, I totally agree.

    Buena suerte o/ou bonne chance!

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