Sunday, November 27, 2011

not a metaphor at all

I decided, in my quest to reinvigorate my Spanish, to change the settings on my iPhone to Spanish. Now when I type, I don't get auto-corrected back to English.
I had been afraid that I wouldn't be able to type in English (getting auto-corrected back to Spanish). Except there's a little button to push when typing that has a globe on it, and it will auto-correct to English temporarily. Which is frickin' brilliant.

It's also very sad to me. Because so many English speakers don't even have reason to notice that such a button would be useful. And we don't realize how the rest of the world caters to us, every time they press a button.

Hey, don't get me wrong. I'm proud of the fact that the iPhone and Windows and a host of other technologies came out of our country. I love English, and I feel lucky it's the world's lingua franca. I just wish we understood what a gift that is, and made some small, small attempt to reciprocate.

Monday, November 7, 2011

opening doors

We were blessed with visitors over the weekend. Friends of mine from my year abroad in Argentina visited with their three lovely daughters. Our kids (two languages, three nationalities) mixed and played pirates and held hands through a day at an amusement park.
I greeted my dear, dear friends with delight and made a cake for their middle daughter, who turned three while they were with us.
I spoke in Spanish for the first time in years, and realized, to my amazement and delight, that it still hasn't disappeared. My vocabulary sucks, yes, and my grammar isn't great either, but I still understand my friends, and can make jokes.
What a blessing, to be able to joke and laugh bilingually.
I had trouble sleeping while they were here because my brain was rediscovering whole cities of knowledge it had forgotten. I woke up in the middle of the night, remembering how to say "drop of water" in Spanish. I went over conversations in my head, remembering the correct way to say things.
Now they are gone, and I'm sad, but also thankful. Because that world is there, and now I know it's not as far away as I thought.