Monday, September 5, 2011

English, Portuguese and Spanish?

This was written while I was still at camp and I'm not sure why I never posted it... Just keep that in mind as you read it and I say "here."

So I got here and almost right away I noticed two girls who were speaking American English with some people who were obviously not native speakers to English. This of course sparked my interest but since I was here with a Portuguese group and all the people I knew spoke Portuguese the girls had no idea that I spoke English and for a while at least I didn’t really get a chance to talk to them. I can’t remember why now but for some reason I was talking to someone in English and the two girls came over and said “we’re sorry… we weren’t trying to eves drop… but we couldn’t help but notice that you were speaking American English!” We got to know each other a little better and I came to find out that their names are Ellen and Abby and they were here this summer (about 5 weeks before camp and then two weeks of camp) to get camp ready for campers and to help with the activities the first week of camp. They don’t speak Portuguese so they were all too thrilled to have someone speaking their English. There were others here who spoke English, but I think I was kind of a taste of home for them. It just so happened that the speaker for the preparation and the first week of campers was an American missionary serving in Porto, Portugal. He speaks Portuguese but once he found out that we spoke American English he got really excited. One day he said to me “it’s just so good to hear English from the States! Sometimes I get really tired of hearing British English all the time!” I really had no idea that it was that important, but it was nice to kind of be a blessing to them. Next I found out that about half the missionaries here are Argentine, there’s one from Chile, one from the Dominican Republic, a few actual Portuguese, a Brazilian, and a French. What was really fun for me was when the native Spanish speakers would switch into Spanish amongst themselves! I realized that I LOVE Spanish!!! For me it was pretty much as good as hearing English
J Don’t get me wrong, I am really liking getting to know Portuguese better and have improved leaps and bounds thanks to God’s work hear at camp, but I think since Spanish and Latin America have been part of my life for so long Spanish will always hold a special place in my heart! Up into recently Portuguese was kind of a novelty to me… I was constantly reminded of the fact that I was speaking and understanding a foreign language when I would speak or understand it. It was almost kind of surprising to me that I was able to communicate in Portuguese… which is something that has never happened to me… I have always felt very natural (even if I didn’t sound natural…) speaking foreign languages. Recently though I have started feeling more comfortable and natural speaking Portuguese, which is a testament to what God has been doing in my life here. If I had to choose Spanish or Portuguese I’m still pretty sure it would be Spanish, but I’m not ready to stop speaking Portuguese… in a perfect world I would have both all the time! Who knows, maybe someday God will bless me with that ability!

1 comment:

  1. Choose portuguese!!! spanish is the portuguese from Paraguay, the fake one! kidding...
    Before Portugal I was very upset with the portuguese, speak portuguese is so useless, everywhere you go you will alaways have to go for the spanish section if you are a portuguese native speaker, so why doesn't speak spanish once for all!!?? I was thinking "When I go to Portugal I'll say to them 'hey, why you have to came!! why you did let the spanish get all souht america to then!!" hehe Well, but at the same moment I entered the aeroplane and listened to that amazing familiar sound I felt home. Portuguese is a litle bit home for me, Spanish is beautiful and, for me, very funny, but Portuguese is the language of my heart, as you said once about ours mother tongues.

    ops! sorry if it was too long, is not my intention to blog into your blog!haha