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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Language

     One of my favorite things is language. All aspects of it. I love the way words can paint pictures and tell stories and capture imaginings. Writing has always been the easiest form of expression for me. It's actually really hard for me to say my thoughts out loud. Sometimes, even when I'm writing my thoughts down, I edit myself so many times, reworking words and phrases and redoing entire paragraphs. But it's still easier for me to express myself that way than try and say everything I mean out loud without rambling on and feeling ridiculous. When I can see my thoughts on paper, I'm more confident that they make sense. So that's one thing I like about language, especially written language: the ability it gives me to express myself clearly.
     I do enjoy talking with people, too, especially when I don't feel pressured to say everything just right. When I'm with someone I'm comfortable around, I know that they won't care if I say something wrong and I don't think about it. In fact, I prefer speaking face to face than by phone, text or chat. It's just easier to read people's reactions that way.

     I love that language allows me to communicate with other people. Being able to speak with people in their native language is awesome. I am fluent in English and Spanish, and I could probably get by in Portuguese, as long as they didn't mind me switching to Spanish when I got mixed up. I love speaking to someone and having them understand what I say. And I love understanding what they say. I feel like culture and language are so intertwined. My thought patterns change just a little bit when I switch from English to Spanish. There are some things that just don't translate. For me, language is an important part of travel. It's hard being somewhere where you don't understand the language at all. I was on a study abroad in Spain and some of my fellow students and I went to Portugal for a weekend. It was fun, but I would have been completely lost by myself, because I'd never studied Portuguese at all and none of the signs made sense. It's hard enough to understand and be understood in the languages I do speak fluently. If I ever choose to travel alone, I'll go somewhere where I know the language well. 
Seville, I believe. This is from that study abroad in Spain. 
This is from Lisbon, Portugal. We found an awesome castle and had fun exploring and taking pictures.