Hola querido lector! Or if I may say, hello dear reader! Today I wanted to share something about my tryst with learning Spanish. If you were to ask me when exactly I fell in love with Spanish, it had to be in 2018. But this was long after I had decided that Spanish would be my foreign language of choice to learn, if I ever did.
There was a time in life when I was pretty downbeat by everything around me, and I wanted to shake things up. So, on a whim, I started to research about languages that I could possibly learn some day. Chinese, Japanese and Arabic did not make it to the list. I knew it would be very difficult for me to even grasp a language with a different script. I did not want to attempt that. I wanted something easier.
So I turned towards the romantic languages. French too did not make it to my list. I knew the accent would be extremely difficult. My brother had spent a few weeks learning from Alliance Francaise and I realised this wasn’t for me. It seemed too refined. Italian too could not beguile me.
I settled on Spanish after I had ascertained that there was a proper educational institution in Delhi that could teach the subject. Going through the top schools/ institutions in Delhi, Spanish is the second-most expensive foreign language to learn after French. (This was a good three years back. With COVID, I’m not sure what the comparable rates are like anymore). I wanted to learn at the Cervantes Institute alone and with course fees upwards of 14,000 rupees (It’s more expensive now), this put a brake on my Spanish dream and I left it on idle for a few more years.
At a time when Spotify and Netflix were not around or accessible to me, I had little to no exposure to the language.
However, a chance visit to the US changed me forever. With a huge percentage of the population speaking Spanish, it was the first time I heard someone, anyone, speak it in person. And I must say, it sounded beautiful. I was enthralled. Be it in the subway, markets, restaurants… it was all over, and gosh, it was delightful to the ears. People talking animatedly with each other… it seemed like a beautiful place, another world I wanted to explore. It is such a passionate language and I was hooked.
Once I got home post my vacation, I signed up for Spanish and since then, I’ve been almost talking to myself, and sometimes others, in another language in my head. It is beautiful and mesmerising. And even though the grammar gives me the heebie-jeebies (more on this later), the sheer joy and privilege to be learning this fills me with joy.
Obviously, not everyone at home was convinced I should be spending money, time and energy on learning another language. There were some who asked how exactly it would benefit me at work or in my very zigzag career. Who knows? Who cares? I just want to learn. Is it so much to ask for in order to indulge oneself an education for life?
Thankfully, my parents did not grill me too much. It’s funny how once when I was practising my aural skills at home, my mum overheard some of the exercises and commented how the language seemed too harsh to her. I only laughed. Agreed, it may not sound as ‘sweet’ as Bangla but in my head, Spanish is magnificent, boisterous and oh so, caliente!
This brings me to another step of my blogging journey – My Spanish Dream. I’ve added another category to my blog and I hope someday I may get the opportunity manifest this dream further.
Header image by @unonueveochotres on Unsplash.