10.11.11

Easily impressed

Posted in Society, Travel at 9:56 by RjZ

After living in Germany for a couple of years I made a return visit to the company I had worked for in California. It was a heart warming experience to be welcomed back so sincerely by the team there.

When people learned that I had learned to speak German, their eyes opened wide and several asked me to speak a few phrases. A few turnedto mutter to each other approvingly in Spanish about how impressed they were.

Spanish and the Spanish-English hybrid Spanglish is spoken as often as English in Chino, California. I never really learned Spanish, although, whenever I visit a Spanish speaking country, I am surprised by how much I picked up, presumably by ordering burritos from the counter at El Pueblo Meat Market (English spoken, but only begrudgingly).

For folks in Chino, even bi-lingual ones, German was exotic and they were inspired by my accomplishment. Which, I told them, is completely silly. I’m glad I was able to pick up German (and, later, its close linguistic neighbor, Dutch), but really it’s just not all that impressive at all. Ask around, in spite of our reputation, U.S. American regularly speak at least a couple of languages. How about you?

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