Tres cosas importantes en la vida – which means 3 important things in life – to the Spanish are salud (health), dinero (money), and amor (love). After our Spanish teacher Anna translated what salud means, I asked in all ignorance, “What about heaven? ¿Cómo se dice “heaven” en español? (How to say heaven in Spanish?)” The entire class was silence and then bursted into laughter. It was happy kind of laughter. I soon joined them after realizing that salud means health, not hell. Oh well. I probably speak Spanish with a Singapore accent while Anna speaks English with a Spanish accent. How come I was the only one who didn’t get it.
Now you get it? By now you should. You knew that I have enrolled the first Spanish lesson this July and since then, my journey has not been that smooth sailing. If I was to redesign the Spanish curriculum for the English speaking people, I would list out a whole set of vocabulary that is common between Spanish and English (the word ‘curriculum’ is a good example). And I would also create a list of words that are similar between the two languages. Such as importantes versus important, vacaciones versus vacations, salario versus salary, familia versus family. Imagine, all of a sudden, Spanish is not such a foreign language anymore. Imagine, the level of confidence that I would have, that any English speaking person would have, after seeing that entire list of similarity.
Though I have missed the first class of this new season (because of that trip, you know which trip I am talking about), I am as determined as ever to do well and pass the examination with the rest of the class. I love my class, I really do. I don’t want to be left behind as the rest of the class continues to the next level. These are fun people, people with interesting careers, and most importantly, people whom I look forward to meet every week.
This new season I am doing something different. I think one way to learn a new language is to try it without thinking too hard about it. Once again … ¿En la vida solo hay tres cosas importantes amor, salud y dinero?
Si, el mismo orden (yes, in that same order).