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Monday, March 10, 2008

Germpish/Germish/Spaniman/Spanman

I’m inventing a new language. I can’t decide what to call it (see options above). It’s a cross between German and Spanish, and sure, throw in a little English, too. I took four years of German in high school (why you ask? to spite my parents of course). I used it on a two week trip to Europe in high school and also to converse occasionally with my old pastor and the random person I meet who speaks German. Other than that, it’s useless to me in my current life. I still (surprisingly) remember a lot of it, and it is emerging as I learn Spanish. I often use the German word instead of the Spanish word, especially if I cannot remember the Spanish word. Unfortunately, this is not very effective when trying to speak Spanish to Spanish-speaking people. I tried this one:

Ich brauche vas a la tienda y buy ten batteries.

I need (in German) you to go to the store and (in Spanish) buy ten batteries (in English).

Yeah, they didn't get it.

Ever since high school, I wanted to learn Spanish (yes, my parents were right, just don’t tell them, okay?) because it is a most helpful language to know when living in California. My friend opened a Mexican restaurant and I have worked for him a time or two and found it very frustrating to not be able to communicate with the kitchen, who speaks Spanish only. Also, many of my vendors’ workers speak Spanish, and a guy at work speaks Spanish. He actually speaks English very well, but he lets me practice and doesn’t laugh (very hard) at my terrible pronunciation.

No need to get started on if you live in America you should speak English, blah, blah. I don’t totally disagree, but I appreciate that the people I come across are trying to be a benefit to society and don’t just live off our government. And the truth is that learning and knowing two languages is good for your brain.

Back to the story; I think my new language will be very beneficial because then Germans, Spaniards, and Mexicans will be able to effectively communicate with each other. And that really improves everyone’s life, doesn’t it?

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