Today is the first day of a new project. I have felt for some time that I am supposed to be fluent in Spanish. It isn’t a huge stretch, really. My husband is from Uruguay and English is his second language. My in-laws speak English, but Spanish is far more comfortable for them. I studied the language for about 8 years in high-school and college.
I am poised to be able to do this.
And yet, while I have started time and time again, I’ve never really followed through to fluency. So, from morning to my head hitting the pillow on Wednesdays from today forward I plan to communicate solely in Spanish when speaking to Martin, my son Ian (who understands Spanish but does not speak it) and anyone else who will tolerate me.
I got through my shower (lluvia) and out the door this morning without a hitch, although as I tried to talk to Martin through the curtain I got a taste of what it is like to have many thoughts and a stiflingly small vocabulary with which to express them. As the morning continued and Martin and I went to pick up my car, I started to laugh out loud as I stuttered out — Miercoles en Enspanol esta bien para vos entonces yo no hablo nada. Translated–Spanish Wednesdays holds a surprise bonus for you Martin–less chatter from the passenger seat.
But then I realized that there may also be a surprise bonus for me.
Few words require a precision of thought and expression that I am not used to practicing. It will be interesting to see what I learn about communicating in my native English by requiring myself to communicate solely in Spanish.