Sunday, July 25, 2010


Do you ever feel that you have certain talents that you don't use? When I was in college, I loved studying foreign languages, German and Spanish in particular, and was fairly good at them. I also enjoyed the smattering of Hungarian I picked up from a Hungarian friend. I was sure I had been given these gifts for a purpose, to make use of them in my future. Unlike Miss Kate, I don't have the gifts necessary to make a good teacher, so I gave up on that idea, but I still felt somehow something would come out of my abilities.

Well, here I am twenty years later, and I use a small bit of German when I talk with a friend who originated from Bavaria. I've started to pick back up on the Spanish since the Musician started it this past school year. Of course, after three years of Latin, Spanish was fairly easy-peasy for her. She'll actually be in Honors Spanish at the high school this year.

Of course, my German was extremely valuable when I visited relatives during a ten-week college trip to Germany and Austria. I spent a few days around Christmas with my mother's first cousin, her husband, children and grandchildren. Only one of the grandchildren spoke much English, and I didn't bunk at his apartment.

My Spanish brightened someone's day at a food trailer during that same trip to Germany. I can only assume this guy was a migrant worker from Spain who had come to Germany for opportunity, and he was buying something at the trailer. I don't know how I picked up that the guy was from Spain, probably something the food trailer guy said. They seemed to know each other. So I spoke to him in Spanish, and the man seemed thrilled with this little touch of "home." I can still remember him exclaiming excitedly to the man behind the counter, "She speaks Spanish!"

And I had a fun time on that same trip when the future Mr. Evil Genius and I ate dinner one night at a Spanish restaurant. The menu was dual German/Spanish, and I ordered in Spanish. The waiter began his very own version of Germish, along the lines of, "Gracias, Fraulein." Poor Mr. Evil Genius was very lost.

Who knows what the future holds? I'd definitely have to brush up on my foreign languages if I was to make use of them again in the future. In the meantime, I sometimes wonder, "Why?"

1 comment:

skatey katie said...

i have been speaking froglish to my kids for yeeeeears - at least two speak better than i do now. yay.

and when i tried my skoolgirl french in paris, they spoke back english to me. lol.

i think there's perhaps no 'why?' with languages. cos i think it should be mandatory to learn another language besides our first. it gives us such a wonderful cultural appreciation, besides being so good for the bwain.

PS it's 'Te Wiki o te Reo Maori' in NZ this week - i have been trying out my maori with all of my kiddos. just dropping little snippets to them and they're talking back - loving it X