Learning the Language
One of my main goals going abroad was to learn Spanish. I have been here for two months and can confidently say I was extremely ambitious in thinking I could master the language in three months. However, I can also confidently say that it has been one of the most fun and tiring experiences of my life. When you learn a new language, your brain is physically growing and changing. I have felt it. I have also felt the joy that comes from having an uninterrupted conversation with a local, so the brain pain is absolutely worth it.
How have I been learning? First and most predominantly in my homestay. I have two parents and three siblings who speak very little English, so A LOT of practice goes on in the house. We will have conversations about anything and everything, and they have no problem correcting me (hahah). I have also been constantly going out of my way to make conversation with everyone I come in contact with in public. My philosophy is that you can only get better, so even if I am absolutely butchering my sentence, I am practicing. Even if I have NO idea what I just ordered off the menu, I am still learning. Sometimes the cashier will ask if I would prefer English, to which I kindly reply “no, español por favor.” I am in Spain so I will happily learn to speak their language.
Another beautiful aspect of Barcelona is the diversity of languages. Everyone speaks at least three languages so there is such a mixture in communication. Every day, I’m learning to say hello and goodbye in a new language. One day I am saying “ciao,” and the next day I am saying “adéu.” Barcelona even has its own language other than Spanish known as Catalan (which happens to have French, Italian and Latin influences). I came to Spain expecting to learn Spanish and I may very well return to the U.S. knowing a little bit of five other languages. How fun it is!