May 24, 2004

Mr. International

Today, I'd like to ramble about foreign languages. I've always thought it'd be really cool to be able to speak another language. I don't know how useful it'd be on a day to day basis, but I imagine it would put me on the fast track to free refrills when ordering at certain restaurants. Not only that, but if I'm going to fulfill my dream of being a grizzled ex-patriot who flees the country under mysterious circumstances, I'm going to have to speak something besides English. Perhaps I could just go around speaking gibberish to the natives. It may not be productive at first, but I'm pretty sure that through this and my utter disregard for corn tortillas, they'd come to regard me as some sort of deity.

In spite of my passion, I have been completely incompetent at the second language thing. In high school, I took three years of Latin, and in a class full of slackers (Danza, Frito) and weinerbiscuits (everyone else), I managed to distinguish myself as the worst student in there. I was so inept, it would only take one attempt at conversation with ancient Rome's dumbest 3 year old before a centurion would be moved to kill me out of mercy. I blamed this on Latin, and continued to belief that there could yet be hope for me and another language.

Then, at college, I tried my hand at Spanish. I worked pretty hard and got good grades, but I wasn't going to be leading any Latin American revolutions with my language skills. Being in San Antonio, I got plenty of chances to bust my Espanol out, but it only took a few of these before I realized that my friends from south of the border were laughing with me, not at me, and that ano meant something very different from año. After a year of Spanish, I gave up.

This brings me to last night. While driving around before a baseball game, one of my companions pointed out all of the missing turtle signs that were around the neighborhood. She noted that there used to be some similar signs in Spanish, but they had been taken down. Since there is no off setting on the genius switch, I got to thinking. My turtle is missing in the tongue of the Spaniards... I could do this. I racked my brain for a few moments, and then almost imperceptibly, I murmured, "Mi tortuga es perdido." A-ha! Mi tortuga es perdido! I have no idea how correct that sentence is, but I think it's close enough. Not only is it close enough to accuracy, but it's close enough to instill an idea that there may just be a second language for me yet. Gracias, tortuga, no me olvidaré.

Posted by Cody at May 24, 2004 6:16 PM