I took a lot of Spanish classes in college. One of the classes that I grew to love was a pronounciation class. There were only a few people in the class. I liked that. It's a lot easier to try something and mess it up good when just a few people are listening.
Maybe that's why I haven't told many people about this blog.
One of the requirements of pronounciation class was that we practice a particular passage during the week and record ourselves on a tape recorder (yes, the old fashioned kind) so that we could hear ourselves and improve our diction and theoretically quit sounding like Americans Speaking Spanish. Each week we brought our first-time-through recording of the passage along with the best recording to the teacher for a critique. It was intimidating.
The first time I recorded myself, I started and stopped several times due to an uncontrollable fit of the giggles. When I am uncomfortable with something new, I giggle. This applies especially to things that involve my mouth. I nearly got hysterical the first time a hygienist used that sucking hose thingy at a teeth cleaning. More recently, when a hygienist told me to get a ultrasonic toothbrush so that I didn't have to go to a peridontist in a few years (yes, getting older does not mean that people quit telling you what to do), it took me a few tries before I could brush my teeth without taking a break partway through. Trying new foods? Giggles. Kazoos? Harmonicas? Humming? Forget it.
I learned in pronounciation class that eventually you reach a comfort level where the 'r' rolls naturally and no longer feels weird. One begins to be able to hear and speak individual words as a bunch of sounds rather than as each individual word. Native speakers in any language run words together and leave out the sounds of some letters at the ends of words because the sounds at the beginning of the next word are similar. Sometimes the beginning or ending sound of a word is unspoken for no reason at all. I was fascinated with the concept. I'm r-r-ra-r-r-ra like that.
Today as we were driving home from church, El mentioned that she doesn't have to do homework today. She thought of it, I think, because it's the first 'regular' Sunday for us since school let out. Last week we were on vacation and the week before that we had a big Father's Day event at church. So her teenage mind must have shifted into the habit of reviewing what homework she needed to do as we were driving home today.
And I said that the last time we were here it was Father's Day. And remembered out loud,
"That's right, it wasn't a regular Sunday."
Then for some razón rara I explained to them that I hadn't said,
"That's right, it was an irregular Sunday."
Even though they mean the same thing essentially, I wouldn't have known what to write if I was in English class and had to take dictation.
Maybeethi sis why yi ha ventold mannypee polabou thi sblog.