Embracing the Language

How have I changed from the person I was in my country to the person I am today: an international student?

This topic could take a never ending blog to explain the changes – sometimes big and sometimes not so big. The changes are not only in the way you live, but also in the way you think once you are in another country. I can think of many examples, and I chose to focus on the one of language.

If you know me, you know that I have an accent.  After a year and a half in this country I realized I will never get rid of it and I actually started enjoying it. Yes, I do have an accent and that makes me unique. Regarding grammar and pronunciation, you also must know  that I ask people to correct me if I am not saying words well or I am grammatically incorrect. I really want to master the language and I really enjoy learning. I am here to speak English to express myself in the best way possible.

I’ve been asked if I dream or think in Spanish. The answer is no. I think all the time in English and dream in English. It is interesting that when I visit my country, you can tell I have not lived there for a while. I have started to forget words and my “r” sound is getting confused when I say certain words. On my last visit I had an accent-in Spanish!!! Actually that was not very pleasant. I am Mexican and I want to speak my language as I always have.  I understand  that it is a matter of geography and practice, and the same is happening in reverse with English. I now say words much better than I did in the past, but regardless, accent or no accent, it is my goal always to use the languages properly. It is funny that at times when visiting Mexico, I would respond in English, and here, if I am really tired  (more likely exhausted) I tend to respond by mixing English and Spanish! You can tell when it is time for me to go to bed!

So next time you listen to an international student speaking, I invite you to think that that person may have much more to say but there is in some cases a natural barrier when you are not native to country. There are countless occasions when I have laughed with my friends about certain words I say differently or about the fact I do not have the words I would like to express myself with.

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5 Responses to Embracing the Language

  1. Lisa Starling says:

    I miss your “Spanglish”. 😦 but I’m very happy for you. You are doing well, and obvious you learning a great deal. Organized is good—You want to help me now??

  2. Ruben says:

    Funny things happen when English is not your Native Language, but it gets worse when you decide to major in English. That is part of my story. I taught English for 13 years but then my destiny changed and I have been teaching Spanish for the las 18 years, to tell you the truth my Spanish has been reducing year by year for I only use commands like: Cierra la puerta, abre tu libro, sientate, no comas, haz tu tarea, as you can see; yes, I am a High School teacher. Anyway I travelled to Mexico one summer and I needed to take pictures for official documents, in Mexico there are different sizes of pictures and one of them is the Oval size which is roughly 2″ by 1 1/2″. Well, instead of ordering the “Ovalo” (Oval) size I started ordering an “Ovulo” size, immediately the clerk started laughing and I stared at her asking her in surprise what the joke was, then turned to me and said “you just ordered an “Ovule”.
    Get it?

  3. Carol says:

    You’re right, language is difficult sometimes. I know that I am able to communicate in English, but my head is a mess when I’m trying to say something sometimes, jijiji.
    Now I’m happy because I’m not the only one that has this “problem” but the most important thing at the end is that people understand me.

  4. Sherry Galimore says:

    Aida – I love listening to you converse in English. The way you phrase things is so charming and unique to you. I don’t speak another language so I am amazed at people who do and do so well. You are so brave!

  5. Aida! This is so wonderful to have a blog to help International students! It seems to be off to a great start. I love that you are putting the process of your game and transition from your home to America. It will surely help those coming to your campus! Your game idea is fantastic! From what I can gather, you are putting together a kind of 3D map? That would have definitely helped me when I was a freshman. Well, I love you mucho! Keep doing what you’re doing! Bless your sweet, sweet heart!

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