Mi nombre es Matt, o--en Córdoba, Argentina, me llamo Matías. When I arrived in South America 9 days ago, I did not even know how to say the most basic things like, “My name is Matt.” It just shows how incredibly busy I was pre-RY3. No time to learn a new language when you’re packing your life into a storage unit.
But, a little over a week in Córdoba, and I feel light years ahead of where I was. For one, I’m taking weekly Spanish lessons with our “profesora” Vicky (above). And, two, I’m spending a lot of time in Duolingo, a phenomenal App that makes learning a new language like playing a game.
In the first Spanish class, we focused on “presentación”, aka introductions. Vicky reviewed some basics and then asked the class for other questions we might ask a person we just met. I blurted out, “Are you single?”, which drew a roar of laughter. I didn’t really mean it to be funny--it seemed muy importante! Thanks to Vicky, I now know how to say “Estás soltera?” and I feel much more equipped to hit the streets of Argentina.
For real though--being a non-Spanish speaking foreigner is incredibly humbling!
I pride myself on being a strong communicator, but now I can't even talk. Now, I have a much deeper respect for foreigners who don’t speak the native tongue. I highly encourage my fellow Americanos to have more empathy for people who don’t speak English. IT AIN’T EASY being on the outside looking in. Be kind, mmkay?