So the other day I had the chance to help a former Spanish student of mine with a grammar question which was really nice, and also helped me to actually feel useful that day. Because it’s not often that you hear someone yell, â€œI need to know the difference between direct and indirect objects, STAT!â€ Or, â€œOMG, come quick-there’s a conjugation emergency!â€
(And personally, I think the world is a lesser place for it.)
But on that day I finally had the chance to ride up on my Pony of Exceptional Grammar Knowledge and save the day.
I mean, it sounds really cool and all to be able to say that I am fluent in Spanish, but we Spanish speakers aren’t ever called on to help with the really interesting projects, or the really spectacular rescue missions.
That’s probably a good thing too, now that I think about it. Because our ability to help, say, someone clinging to the side of a cliff, trying desperately not to fall to their death would most likely look like this:
â€œOK, so, you need to be able to say, ‘Help-I am falling off a cliff!’ Well first, you need to learn how to conjugate the verb ‘to be’. AIIIIIIEEEEEE!â€ (And then that would be where the rescue team pushed us off the cliff, because frankly, we kind of deserved it.)
But, I digress.
So as a Spanish speaker, mostly I am just asked stuff like, â€œHey-say something in Spanishâ€, or, â€œWhat does that mean in English?â€
(Unless, of course, you happen upon a group of graduate students who work for approximately 2 hours a day, leaving the remaining 22 hours to argue with each other over which is the superior branch of study regarding the Spanish language: literature (!), or linguistics (yeah, right). Seriously-you do NOT want to get in the middle of that situation, because, HO, BABY, DO THE CLAWS COME OUT! GRR!)
However, there was one time when I actually felt the power of being bilingual. It happened a few years ago when I was called to jury duty (FOR THE FOURTH TIME IN FOUR YEARS, NOT THAT I AM BITTER OR ANYTHING.)
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