Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Indecent proposal


I didn't begin to seriously learn a second language until I was twenty-one or twenty-two, which makes things difficult because my mind isn't quite as limber as it used to be. I grew up in South Florida surrounded by Spanish and Haitian Creole, and I took some Spanish classes in high school, but, as a skateboarder punk, I eschewed anything that figures of authority told me would up my chances of landing that dream job one day. So Spanish was out. Learning a language just didn't hold my attention.

I wish someone had introduced me to Spanish-language erotic fiction when I was going through puberty. Nothing held my attention more than sex, so why not combine language learning with something exciting? My fundamentalist Christian parents would never have caught on, as they would not have been able to understand what I was reading (my dad caught me reading Naked Lunch when I was twelve or thirteen and that didn't go over well at all). I would have learned to read Spanish in no time!

I've taken to reading pulp and erotic fiction in French of late. Much better than forcing myself to slog through Anscombre and Ducrot's L'argumentation dans la langue, which was really dragging me down.

That's what I'll do when I grow up: I'll be a French teacher!

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