Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Que raro!

Estoy pensando en español. I'm thinking in Spanish. I noticed last week while my brain was in overdrive, that I was actually thinking in Spanish. Not all the time, but definitely for long stretches. It actually freaked me out, I wondered how long I had been doing it but not noticing. I then started to talk to myself.

Yo: Estas pensando en español?
Yo2: No, no puedo.
Yo: Ya vez!
Yo2: Que?
Yo: Pensaste en español!
Yo2: No fui yo!
Yo3: You're both thinking in Spanish!


Me: Are you thinking in Spanish?
Me2: No, I can't.
Me: You see!
Me2: What?
Me: You thought in Spanish!
Me2: Wasn't me!
Me3: Los dos
están pensando en español!

Don't get me wrong, I am not thinking in perfect Spanish by any means, my inner dialogue is a mashed up mess of strange grammar and lots of swear words. Once the weirdness of it wore off, I realized it was a pretty good thing, another goal reached, another step to being bilingual.

So now I just have to deal with these little voices in my head, then I'll be feeling chido-lido.


Scott Bulger Photography said...

It's funny. I spent lunchtime today working on teaching my almost 4 year old Spanish...

“Burke, say “tienda”.”

“I can’t say “tienda”, it’s too hard.”

“You just said it.”

“No I didn’t.”

Jennifer said...

YAY -I remember the day when I realized that I thought in Spanish. I was at work, and I was thinking about some bushes that were outside. (it had some pretty flowers on it) And as I got to the word bush I stopped, and instead of switching over to bush in English and keep going, the whole internal dialog stopped. Instead I sat there, in my mind searching all my Spanish for the word bush. I eventually stopped thinking about my bush, and never finished my thought, because I then went on looking for the word bush. (I hope this makes sense. Does it?)

But yeah, I remember that day, LOL.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

That's interesting, I never think in Spanish unless I am speaking or reading it. What I find hard is switching back and forth in a conversation, sometimes I find myself speaking the wrong language to the wrong person. I wonder how the simultaneous translators do it?
I can't translate something until I hear or read the whole sentence.

Heather said...

Congrats chica! I have those moments but it certaintly isnt all the time, or as often as i wish. it all depends on who i am around, then when they leave, i think, oh my gosh, i was supposed to switch back to english, lol!


Anonymous said...

Hey! Kudos to you chica! Isn't it kinda surreal when you realize you're starting to think in a different language? LOL!! My mom and aunts have been in the U.S. 30+ years and STILL think in their native dialect. LOL!

I was working when I realized I was thinking in Spanish -- lots of swear words too ;) -- and I was so excited I ran over to tell DH right away and never finished the thought. =P


Anonymous said...

Theresa: I think that doing simultaneous interpretation is a hugely fun challenge. But then, I'm a bit of a dork. I'm not particularly good at it, but I can do it, and you sort of get into a rhythm while speaking. Oddly enough, I tend to feel more comfortable interpreting something into Spanish rather than into English. Possibly because my vocabulary in English is much more extensive (being my native tongue) that there are too many choices to make between words in that split second that you have, whereas in Spanish, my choices are much more finite and I can spit it out more quickly.

But I totally miss doing it!

Alex said...

My former English teacher, who is Canadian, told me once that once you think in another language (even for brief periods of time), you are bilingual. I do think you are :)

Brice said...

This probably happens fairly often.
I remember after spending time in Germany and Austria, I had the occasional dream in German.
And when I was in Mexico, drunk, if I didn't know the word in Spanish it often came out in German. In my mind, I was thinking in "not english."

CancunCanuck said...

Scott- You made me laugh out loud, I can absolutely picture that kid conversation. :)

Jennifer- Did you ever come up with the word for your bush? ;-)

Theresa- I'm pretty sure half my reasons for thinking in Spanish were pure mental illness, lol! The mind went crazy in it's second language. :)

Heather- I think it does have to do with your surroundings and who you are with. For me, I was all by myself but planning arguments with Spanish speakers in my crazy head.

Kim- Amazing how well the swear words stick, huh? I don't know if I will ever switch to thinking only in Spanish, I kind of hope not, English kind of defines who I am, KWIM?

Gabacha- When I speak as well as you, I will be very happy.

Ale- Bless you! That made my day. :)

Brice- I totally get the "not in English" brain trick, when I first got to Mexico I did a whole lot of thinking in French (and spoke a lovely form of Frespañol).

3LittleFlowers said...

And I most add that this lady speaks a VERY GOOD Spanish!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I once worked as a simultaneous translator for a short period of time. The first time was at a school board meeting. The meeting was held in English and the Spanish speakers wore headsets and I sat in the back of the room and simultaneously translated some pretty boring stuff...periodically I would get behind and make some joke about it to my listeners who would chuckle...having all the people wearing headsets chuckling at the same time unnerved the speaker to the point he became very flustered. I was never asked to fill in again...see, I told you I did it for a short time. Kathe

Anonymous said...

Ok so I have read through your whole blog, it has taken me 2 days, but I am finished...I love it! I will be a faithfull reader from here on out. Everything you have to say about Max-been there done that with my 4 year old, and let me tell doesn't get any easier!

I look forward to reading more of your adventures!


CancunCanuck said...

Momto3- You are too kind amiga. :)

Kathe- LOL, thanks for the giggle. Tough job, I know I couldn't do it.

Jillian- Wow, A Cancun Canuck marathon, lol! Thanks so much for reading and dropping in, I look forward to hearing from you.

Anonymous said...

Strangely enough, I have had dreams in Spanish before -- and that was an odd experience because I am pretty sure I wasn't uttering coherent Spanish sentences in my dreams. Nevertheless, it's fun gaining more and more confidence in the language where you do eventually think like a native speaker.

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