I’m bilingual and proud… but it wasn’t always like that.
When I was growing up, I just wanted my parents to speak in English to me. Now that I’m a grown up, I’m so thankful they didn’t listen to me and enforced their rule “Inglés en la escuela, español en la casa.”
I love the Spanish language. I feel there are things you can say in Spanish that you couldn’t possibly say in English. It would get lost in translation. Want proof? Just check out Buzzfeed’s translation of Juan Luis Guerra’s Burbujas de Amor or any romantic song en español.
My favorite all-time Spanish singer is Alejandro Sanz. He sings love songs. Some of his hits include “Mi Soledad y yo” (My solitude and I) and a song called “Quiero morir en tu veneno.” (Translation: I want to die in your poison.) I mean, if my husband told me “Baby I want to die in your poison” well that’s just CREEPY, but when you hear Alejandro sing and tell you “quiero morir en tu veneno” everything makes sense. Indeed, there are some things that just sound better in Spanish.
The Spanish language takes me back to my childhood. It comforts me, and soothes me. (Really, it soothes me… because there’s no better way than going through labor than listening to Alejandro Sanz tell me how he wants to die in my poison and how he thinks about me without wanting to think about me. I’m telling you… it sounds SO much better in Spanish.)
Being bilingual has given me opportunities and has enriched my life.
When I lived abroad in France I traveled to Spain, Italy and Portugal. I’ve also been to Romania… do you know what Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian all have in common? They are Romance languages, they come from Latin. So yes, speaking Spanish has enriched my life. I was able to communicate and understand a lot of what was happening around me because I speak Spanish.
It’s easy to take it for granted, or to forget the advantages of being bilingual. When you’re younger, all you want to do is fit in. When you’re older, and wiser, and when you’re a parent, you want to protect your heritage, and teach your kids to feel proud of their roots. It’s something I’m passionate about, and I’ve written about before… it is actually the reason I started blogging. I want my son to be proud of his roots, on both sides. For us, language is an important part of that heritage.
We recently got back from a trip to Ecuador. Enzo loved it, and I loved seeing him communicate with everyone around him.
I want him to grow up and say “I’m proud to be Hispanic. I’m proud to speak Spanish. Gracias mamá.”
Hispanic Heritage Month is ending, but really, we should celebrate our heritage every day, whether through traditions, language, travel…we should always be proud of our roots… so again, I end with what I began. I’m bilingual and proud.