Whose Language I’m Learning

Whose Language I’m Learning

Hi there! I hope you’re having a beautiful Sunday. ❀ It has been quite a while since I wrote a post on my language-learning journey, which means that this is the first time in a long time that the ‘Spanish’ category on my blog has been added to, haha!

In the year and a half that I’ve been seriously teaching myself Central American Spanish through the wonderful app that is Memrise, I have occasionally taken long, unplanned breaks. This has assisted me not only in continuing to love the language, but also in my dedication toward learning it.

Learning any language is a lot of hard work, because just like mathematics, it uses a part of your brain that takes much more concentrated focus that other tasks don’t.

Most of my breaks, however long or short, have been to give myself time off from mastering extensive sentences I may never use, as well as from verb conjugation which is quite possibly the hardest part of learning a new language! Giving myself these times of rest helps me to stay interested not only in learning the words and phrases I know I’ll use in conversations one day, but also in learning the harder aspects.

Well, my most recent [and longest] break had nothing to do with sentence structure or conjugating anything.

It had to do with what I saw in the news.

I have never liked reading news articles or tuning in to news broadcasts. Nothing beneficial ever comes out of watching the news for me. It adds anxiety to my life that is unnecessary, and the article here and there that is either informative or interesting is not worth all of the awful things I have read and heard about along with them.

It doesn’t even matter if the breaking news content is right or wrong. It affects me either way, because there is a lot of evil in this world, and it’s quite possible that those crazy reports contain a whole lot of truth.

So, because I’m learning Spanish, I immediately perk up at the mention of the language in any shape or form. If I overhear a conversation at the store in Spanish, I enjoy (in the least stalker-ish way possible, haha) translating what these people are casually talking about; if my mom buys an international food and part of the label is in Spanish, I translate it back into English!; and if there’s news about a Central American country or anything relating to their people, I automatically read it.

Well, there is a lot of pain and suffering in those countries and among those people – just like there is discord throughout the whole world.

When I first began learning a bit of Spanish, it was inspired by people I adored being around. My friend came from a family whose kids are bilingual and their parents only speak Spanish, and she taught me a lot. The next couple of years were sprinkled with Spanish courses here and there as I studied it for school. When I officially began teaching myself the language in January of 2017, I was inspired by the sweet faces of Guatemalan children I got a glimpse of on Hope for Guatemala‘s website.

I wanted to learn their language so that I could talk to these beautiful people.

I want to be able to serve Spanish-speaking customers wherever I end up working. I want to serve the Lord in Guatemala by hanging out with the children there, and by being a friend to them. There are many people who speak this language, and I want to be part of their world. My progress in learning it was stunted by the reports I read of awful people who completely misrepresent this beautiful group of people’s pride, heritage, and love for life.

Yesterday, the Lord taught me something crucial through a family I was waiting in line behind. I had nothing better to do but simply watch as they interacted with each other, spoke fluent Spanish, and enjoyed each other’s company. I could tell, by the looks on all of their faces, that there was a familial bond between each one of them, and it absolutely melted my heart.

I left that chance encounter with people I never even approached with a new desire to learn Spanish.

There will always be hurting people in this world. Individuals from anywhere across this globe will make decisions that will heartbreakingly make it to our world news broadcasts, and we’ll learn of how what they did affected the lives of countless others. This past year was tainted for me every time I read of someone from a Spanish-speaking country wreaking havoc, because I took their torment to heart. I was unintentionally allowing them to change how I see Spanish-speaking families.

I had no idea this was even happening in my subconscious, but the Lord knew exactly what I needed to see and hear yesterday. He knew that my passion for Spanish was slowly dying as I allowed the world to burden me, and He brought me back to where I need to be to learn the language of so many people I adore.

I am once again looking forward to having conversations with bilingual families, of getting to speak the language of Guatemalans, of getting to be a translator on missions trips I know I’ll one day go on.

Thank you so much for following along on my journey. ❀

— Maggie

31 thoughts on “Whose Language I’m Learning

  1. “There will always be hurting people in this world. This past year was tainted for me every time I read of someone from a Spanish-speaking country wreaking havoc, because I took their torment to heart. I was unintentionally allowing them to change how I see Spanish-speaking families.” Maggie, now this was deep. Thank you for writing that; I needed it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I tried teaching my mom some Spanish vocabulary when I was taking it in middle and high school, but she never got the hang of it. Now she’s leaving for a church mission trip in Guatemala!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There are different ways to learn a new language, and figuring out which one works best for you is important! I’ve found it’s a mix of auditory and visual learning for me (: I guess auditory-only didn’t work too well for your mom, haha! And oh my goodness, that is so cool!!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hey Maggie, you know I live in a country that’s very controversial. Intensely. Eh, it’s why I’m careful of mentioning which country I reside in. Just a cautionary thing. Here’s the thing, I can honestly tell you that media will always exaggerate. I’ve come across articles from other countries where they talk about how per se this certain man was murdered, right? But they don’t have the context for it. They won’t bother with the nitty gritty ‘he was a nasty person and it was self defense’. They don’t LOOK for the actual context. They look for the context that best fits their narrative of a mass of people. So, I hope this helps put headlines into perspective for you. It’s not about reporting things with their actual context (something only an ACTUAL RESIDENT can vouch for), rather it’s about reporting things with a distorted fictionalized context that fits their narrative.

    There’s a video that Luke Korns put up about Iraq, which really enlightened me and I hope it enlightens you as well ❀ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oQwGjN7Prg

    Also I didn't know about that app, Im thinking of installing it ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes girl, they ALWAYS exaggerate! It’s extremely unfortunate, because then we’re hardly ever able to know what the truth of these situations are. Memrise is definitely one of my favorite apps! You can learn so many different languages on there πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a perfect example of how easy the news can manipulate us, and how easily it is for us to be deceived by this or any other circumstance in life. How awesome is God though that He directs our focus to the truth!! I’m so glad you got the reminders you needed because you are right, this world is hard! We need His direction! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Maggie!
    Very interesting read. It amazes me how many different reasons there are for learning a foreign language. Yours is very unusual. My boyfriend has been to Guatemala last year, he was working in a gold mine for a month. He was really busy so he didn’t get to experience much apart from work but he was speaking very fondly of Guatemalans (:
    I also know ups and downs of learning a foreign language. I find it quite difficult when you are self-learning but not like I can afford a tutor πŸ˜€ If you are interested, check out my new blog where I am sharing my learning experiences (:

    Liked by 1 person

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