I would choose the talent for learning foreign languages easily and quickly; a hyperpolyglot.
I could travel to many countries and come home speaking many languages fluently.
I could redeem myself for returning from Spain and not being fluent in Spanish.
I lived in Spain for four years.
When I returned home I did not speak fluent Spanish.
Many people think I should have.
“You mean you lived in Spain for four years and you cannot speak Spanish?” is what I heard most often.
I have reasons that I did not return home speaking fluent Spanish.
You may call them excuses, if you like.
The second day I was in Spain I told Roberto, the only one in my building who could speak English, that I wanted to learn Spanish.
The next day (!) Roberto knocked on my door and said, “You will go to school tonight.”
He said his wife Carmen would drive me.
When we arrived at the school, Carmen had a long discussion with the teacher and we left.
After returning home, I asked Roberto what Carmen’s discussion with the teacher had been about.
Roberto said, “The teacher did not want you in her class.”
He said it was because the class had started four months ago; it was an immersion class; the teacher taught only in Spanish. Carmen had to convince the teacher that I should be allowed in her class.
The next day I attended my first “Spanish for Foreigners” class.
It was taught in Spanish and I only knew two words; gracias and por favor.
Until then, I had never been the dummy in class.
Now I know how it feels.
Since then, I sympathize with anyone who struggles to learn.
I made it to the end of the term.
Surprisingly, I did learn some Spanish, only because Dolores was such an extraordinary teacher. The best I’ve ever had.
I enrolled at the beginning of the next term and did much better.
But anytime someone said, “You wanna go…….”, I was outta there.
Hey! I was in Spain to travel, not to learn Spanish.
If you’re one of those tempted to say, “You lived in Spain for four years and cannot speak Spanish?”
I would say, “You cannot say that to me until you can speak Spanish fluently.”
Being a hyperpolyglot would be so cool.
– Sue Williams