Friday, October 11, 2013

Siri, habla usted español?

I changed Siri's language to Spanish.

And she understood me.

I got her to call Corey and to pull up an article on Pablo Neruda.

I love language. I love words. Today, I learned that the Arabic word for "home" is the same word used for "a line of poetry." Doesn't that just make you swoon? I sort of want to eat Arabic with my fingers, it's juices dribbling off my chin.

I'll stick to Spanish for now, though. One new language at a time, right?

I have two goals for learning Spanish.

  • I want to be able to translate my own poems into Spanish. And, I don't just mean translate in the Google Translate kind of way. I want to choose my own words to express the ideas I am communicating. I want to contemplate the culture and metaphor. 
  • I want to read Pablo Neruda in his own language. He's amazing in translation. I cannot imagine the glory of his mother tongue.
I have other goals. I want to be helpful (language-wise) in Honduras next summer. I want to hold conversations with the Mexican women at my favorite Texaco station. I want to let God use me in random ways, including any help I can offer to the free clinic here in town. They have one night dedicated to Spanish speaking patients.

My two big goals aren't my goals because of their usefulness. They are my goals because they will show me success. If I can read Spanish poetry and write it myself, I can make the language my own. It can be, as they say in Arabic, my home.

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