Saturday, February 20, 2010

Me Talk Good

I think I'm forgetting how to speak English. Seriously. Which is a shame, because I used to be quite verbose. When I was little I had a knack for devouring books, and the continuation of this habit gave me a great vocabulary. But lately life has contrived to give me no free time and little time for the reading and writing I’m required to do by employment or for education. And then there’s the real reason, and I say this with the caveat that I am an incredibly open minded person who used to really love this aspect of my life:

I am surrounded by non-native English speakers. At home, at school, at work, in social situations, on the phone, via email... I honestly have to actively remember incidents of conversation with native speakers. It’s gotten to the point where I noticed I was speaking broken English to a friend whose ESL English was clearly superior. What the fuck?

And I always wanted to be multi-lingual. Anyone unfortunate enough to have heard my drunken Spanish can attest is a goal I’ve yet to achieve. But this goal and my active use of Spanish and Arabic on a daily basis seems to have short-circuited the language center of my brain. I now regularly think sentences in a mixture of Arabic, Spanish and English. My family is not amused. I am not amused. If I start to dream in another language, I am out. If I start to pick up Korean, I am out. I will run away to Kentucky or Iowa, somewhere where the only thing that’s international is the House of Pancakes.

You have been warned.

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