Friday, August 18, 2006

it's all about me

Our charming Lady of the Hills commented/asked here yesterday :

"(...) I am amazed that English is not your first language...I always forget that because your English is fabulous!!! It seems to me it is highly developed and very sophisticated...Do you speak English a lot of the time? And/Or did you learn English as a very young child? Just interested my dear."

Thanks for your kind words and your interest, dear blogfriend!! I seldom speak English nowadays. It is a passive activity through this blog and by reading blogs on a daily basis so I am sort of polishing my skills every day! I had English at school but I actually learned the language when I was 16 and went to the US (Midwest, nearest airport: Chicago) as an exchange student my senior year. Which didn't count for my school system so I had to go back for a semester to finish highschool, but it was worth it every single moment! Have a wonderful host family, we still keep in touch some 30 years later. With their help I went back to the US to finish my undergraduate degree and got my Master's in Economics right after that. You can imagine my English was fairly good at that time. But then I went back home to Santiago, Chile to work for an American bank. Until Mr Mar unexpectedly appeared in my life and - to make a long story short - we moved to Germany in 1985. Then I had to learn German (but I was young!) and adapt to a new environment, I worked for a German bank.

In late 1993 Mr Mar was transferred to Spain and I was happy at least I knew the language, my mother tongue! Wrong: I had to learn the local language, Catalan, which meant going back to school but I enjoyed that too! We speak German and Spanish at home. Sometimes a mixture of that spiced up with Catalan words, go figure.... Since we are a culture mix we love languages. Mr. Mar and I met in English in Chile, as his Spanish was "too French" at that time. He speaks German (he is German), Spanish, English and French fluently. I don't speak French very well but my 4th language is Catalan. Mr 18 manages all those languages as well, although his first language is German as he attended the local German school because we didn't know when/if we had to go back to Germany.

My blog is not only my way of having fun but also a fine therapy to keep my brain cells going, although sometimes I feel blogger will drive me insane ! You won't find highly intellectual posts here or elaborated ideas open for discussion because I am aware of my limited vocabulary and I cannot keep up with all the slangs/new expressions, but you already know this if you have been visiting! I have to look up words many times and check spelling but I truly enjoy it. It is a good mental exercise. I am very thankful/thrilled you find some time in your busy schedule to stop by.

It seems this was more than you wanted to know. It is all her fault, lol, OOLOTH got me started, I got carried away and now you - sort of - know the story of my life!



Update: thanks for your nice comments. I didn't want to brag about my language skills and it seems to me it might have sounded that way. I have lived in different countries and that's why I have learned some. It is only the learning potential we all have, if exposed to different environments. I hope I got my point across.
And because Melli asked: my thinking process takes place in the language I am writing/reading/speaking. I don't translate, that is too much work!

27 comments:

  1. Well this was fascinating my dear Mar....I'm so glad I asked you those questions...And if you mentioned it before on your blog I did not remember your years in the U.S. What part of the midwest were you in? (I'm sorry...more questions..LOL)...but it is very very interesting and also that you and Mr. Mar speak so very many languages, and 'Young 18 Mr. Mar', too! Thank you so very much for filling in the blanks here...I dearly appreciate it and I bet other people will enjoy this very much, too!

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  2. OOLOTH is right - it has been fascinating learning about your life. I am so impressed that you can all speak so many languages so well and your English is better than a lot of native speakers over here in the UK!

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  3. You know you said that blogger drives you mad. Well, I concur. Foe some reason it wouldn't post my comment then posted it 3 times!!!!

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  4. This was a very interesting post. Thanks so much for sharing with us. It is unbelievable to me that you and your husband have mastered so many languages. I am still working on perfecting my English.lol

    Take care,
    Connie

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  5. Very interesting, mar!

    I think your English is flawless!

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  6. It was good that oldoldlady of the hills asked this question otherwise I wouldn't have known that you know so many languages. Can I call you a linguist? It sure is indeed a problem with blogger sometimes or lately more often than sometimes. They should be doing something about it.
    Anyway, come and celebrate the FFMB's Anniversary with me.

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  7. I would've never known that English wasn't your first language! You speak/write it too well to be the "perfect" girlfriend. ha ha. You'd have to not understand much of what I mumbled. Like my lifeguard. ;)

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  8. Your English is impecable! When I lived in Spain I lost all my English because I went to spanish schools and had spanish friends. I had to re-learn it when I came back. I like to think that if we went to Spain, it would all come rushing back!!
    Mr. Bug speaks French - Montreal French - but still... I can understand the French, but to speak the words is difficult. His mom speaks to me in french and I answer in english. It works for us!
    I just met a lady who lives near me who speaks French and German. She just moved from Germany a few months ago. It's so cool to hear the languages and the accents!

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  9. all so fascinating!!! gracias por compartillar.
    my roomate in high school (an american school!) was from Chile. we still keep in touch after 10 years and i will be attending her wedding next year. :D
    me encanta tu lifestory, en serio.

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  10. I am totally blown away! I thought your first language was English! You are wonderful. I wish I was able to speak more languages. Alas, I am languistically challenged! ;~)

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  11. Wow Mar! That is so, so interesting. I really admire your ability to pick up all those languages.

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  12. I love this post, Mar. I have learned a lot about you. And I have to agree. Your English is fabulous :).
    I don't have to look up words any more, but I just can't get the German sentence structure out of me - go figure.
    Have an awesome day.

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  13. That's so cool you all speak so many languages. I'd love to be able to do that!!

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  14. Wow you are language versitile! I only know english, and don't do it justice most of the time. I did try spanish in college and can read a bit but never got good at speaking it!

    Very nice posting. Learn more every day. Hope you have a fab Friday!

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  15. I'm SO GLAD she got you started! Holy cow! I had no idea! It always amazes me when people are able to know and keep so many languages straight in their heads! I wonder - which language do you THINK in??? I guess Spanish... WOW! This was better than ANY feast I've read today! Just makes me want to have coffee with you even mOre! (but we MUST speak English... otherwise it's all Greek to me!)

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  16. Thanks for all your nice comments! I have learned other languages because I have lived in different coutries, it's a learning potential we all have.

    And Melli: I think in the same language I am writing/speaking, I don't translate, that is too much work!

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  17. That was very interesting and fascinating to know that you and Mr. Mar speak all those languages. I wish I was that gifted. :)

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  18. wow. i'm so amazed! i love learning new languages. but unlike you i never learned them enough to be able to speak them fluently.

    you're so great! what an interesting (and culturally rich) story!

    thanks for dropping by!

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  19. If you don't want to brag, then I'll brag for you! This is such an impressive story. I always just assumed that English was your first language.

    Way to go, Mar!

    Thanks for stopping by to visit me today.

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  20. Hi,
    I`ve wandered over here from the party for the first year anniversary of the FFMB to commend you for your dedication to the band. March on!

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  21. I've always been impressed with your mastery of American English. Why did you choose English to write your blog in?

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  22. happy 1st FFMB anniversary!

    -sarah
    clogger, theremin

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  23. That's still so fascinating. I know a little spanish, a little french, a little latin, a little german and a little american sign language...oh and a speck of Korean & Japanese. None of these enough to hold a conversation though.

    You're amazing...and thanks for the coffee...it was sure good.

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  24. Wow. I knew a little of this from reading your blog your first few months on the Web, Mar, but I didn't know all the details. I envy you your language skills but not all the moving around. I like staying in one spot. :-)

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  25. Naomi speaks for me on this one. I went to Spain for the first time last year, and I was floored by Spanish. I thought I had basic skills, but no way!

    You are very fluent in what I am told is a difficult language to learn.

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