So, I had some really funny things happen this last month, but I cant rightly give you the blog post about them until I have the pictures. Unfortunately, the pictures are on someone else's camera. I've been bugging him for them, but I may have to sic a roommate on him to get them in a timely fashion.
In any case...
I have been trying, through the course of my undergraduate degree, to maintain at least some semblance of language multiplicity in my brain. I am only fluent in English, however, I am quite skilled in *understanding* languages (at least the basic gist) thanks to my continued studies and training in linguistics. Let me be clear: there is a difference between "the gift of tongues" and "the gift of the interpretation of tongues." (1 Cor. 12:10) I feel as the though the second comes much easier for me. I do not actually SPEAK many languages yet. But, I do have a passion for them, and I love learning new ways to communicate with people.
I only took a few "language" classes during my undergrad (at least, classes devoted to learning how to read/write/speak a language that was not English). However, I was given the tools to LEARN languages. And that's really what an undergrad is for--give you more information, and teach you how, when, and where to obtain MORE information. So, now that I can control my OWN curriculum, I decided imma spend my time learning wha'e'er I WANT. Which is...languages (and cookery and family psychology and chemistry and religion and business and physics and finance and literature and fashion and make-up and knitting and fitness...but we'll focus on the languages for now).
The problem is, I can't seem to focus on one. I've many friends who served Spanish-speaking missions, and I took a Spanish class in college and I want to learn it. It's one of the easiest languages I've tried out. I love it! I have a couple of web-learning accounts set up, and they are pretty helpful. I sound quite awkward when I speak it, because I am grossly out of practice, but I am at the point where I can understand most of what is being said to me, and usually can respond.
Unfortunately, I don't always respond in Spanish.
My first reaction is usually Arabic.
Now, understand--I'm not fluent in Arabic, either. Not by a long shot. I can hold basic conversation and can understand quite a bit, but my reading comprehension is awful and I am, again, grossly out of practice. However, many times, as I study Spanish, I find myself responding in this strange, Spanish/Arabic/English blend I have chosen to call Spanglabish. I am quite fluent in Spanglabish. Unfortunately, the pool of Spanglabish speakers is not very large. :-) Luckily for me, a recent addition to my life, we'll call him "Habibi(حبيبي)" IS a Spanglabish speaker!! He went to a Spanish-speaking mission, so he is fluent in Spanish, and he is a MESA major, so he's learning Arabic. I am significantly better at Arabic than he is, and he is significantly better at Spanish than I am. It works out really well. Our mutual friend, "hmahv shly(המאהב שלי)", is actually studying Spanish and Hebrew...and another girl we work with is studying Hebrew! So, naturally, we had this "telephone style" conversation the other day--Ali says something to המאהב שלי in Hebrew, המאהב שלי says something to حبيبي in Spanish, حبيبي says something to me in Arabic. Reverse. It was awesome. Of course, it wasn't always that simple--there was a lot of default to Spanish--but when it worked, it was super cool. The other side of the kitchen kind of just left us alone that day, as I'm pretty sure none of them knew daheck was going on.
I love Provo. Only there would you have that kind of a linguistic situation--from a bunch of white 20-somethings, at a pizza place. jajaja (Well, حبيبي is 1/4 black, so that helps. But still).
Then, later in the week, a friend of mine said something to me in Hebrew, and I responded (accurately, though in English) before I realized that it WAS Hebrew. And I read a new acquaintance's shirt aloud(which was written in German) and translated it, and I was able to hold a (SHORT) conversation in ASL with another (deaf) friend from work.
Someday, I will be better at this than Catherine Tate.