A Dual Native Speaker’s Fear
You may be asking yourself, what is a dual native speaker?
It is simply “una persona“(a person) who uses both languages as their “primera” (firsts) because we have lived enough in both “lenguajes” (languages) to make them completely equal.
Why the “Miedo” (fear) then?
“Hablar” (speaking) two languages, is a “bendicion” (blessing) and a curse. For both of your native “lenguajes” (languages) to be equal, it will require some “esfuerzo” (effort). I grew up attending Episcopal Cathedral School in Puerto Rico, which introduced us to both languages, as soon as we put our tiny “piecitos” (little feet) inside our kindergarten classroom for the first time, but then it changed.
Me in Kindergarten at Episcopal Cathedral School
As I continued to advance in grade levels, the English “curriculo” (curriculum) advanced with me, but the “Espanol” (Spanish) did not, by the time I reached 8th grade I had a huge gap in reading comprehension when it came to my “segundo” (second) language. Due to life circumstances I had to transfer to an all Spanish “escuela” (school), and yes you guessed right, I was a deer in headlights.
After hearing “Ingles” (English) for so long, “Espanol” (Spanish) sounded foreign. I could talk to my new “amigos” (friends) and participate in “discusiones” (discussions), but when it came to understanding my “libros” (books), and writing “ensayos” (essays), I was stuck. “La verdad es” (Truth is), in the two years that I attended Academia Santa Monica before I moved to the “Estados Unidos” (United States) for my Junior Year, I never achieved more than a B in Spanish class. Yet, in English class, I felt like I was back in “primer” (1st) grade material. This happens with most schools, they teach “dos” (two) languages, but both are not held to the same standard.Although I have to admit, if it had not been for this “experiencia” (experience), my Spanish would not have gotten one step closer to competing with its tougher foe, the English language.
Me in 10th grade at Academia Santa Monica
I am headed to Costa Rica in 20 “dias” (days), where I will be doing all my college courses in Spanish, “pero” (but) this time I’m not a deer in headlights, I am a writer’s block, that has finally cleared the way for a new flow of “informacion” (information). I will take this “oportunidad” (opportunity) to give my Spanish the time that it has lost to English these last 5 years. At the end of this experience, they will once again be “igual” (equal). No battle to fight anymore. Professionally, I will breathe a sigh of relief, because “finalmente” (finally), I’ll be able to enjoy my future career basked in dual language goodness, no matter where life takes me.
So what is a dual native speaker’s fear, you might ask?
The fear of not meeting the standard in either.
Am I nervous? Yes
Will I let it stop me? No
“In life, fear keeps you from achieving great things, so drop the fear and grab life’s hand, it’s waiting for you.” -Santaclara
(“En la vida el miedo te prohibe lograr cosas sorprendentes, so deja el miedo, y coje la vida por las riendas, te esta esperando“)- Santaclara
Till next time,
What are you afraid of in life? (A que le tienes miedo en la vida?)
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