Son sus ardillas chirridos??
I have always been fascinated with languages! All of them! I even had a small stint in grammar school with sign language. Communicating with others in a variety of languages and methods was exciting to me. Plays on words and alternate meanings made language so much more alive!
However, it wasn’t always this way. My first language is Croatian and I did not learn English until kindergarten. Needless to say that was a taxing experience. So much so, that I managed to forget the first 5 years of my existence. But, I rebounded quite nicely according to my mom. And after three months, I was running around the house singing – “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream” – to anyone who would listen.
This fascination also extended to clichés and idioms. I once had a boyfriend who accused me of using too many clichés in my every day speech and writing. I remember at the time (much younger and less confident) feeling hurt. Maybe it was due to my love of languages or history. Maybe it was due to being a daughter of immigrants and so I grasped on to anything that made me seem more American. It did make me wonder why…
When I decided to go to Mexico, I began learning Spanish. There was textbook Spanish, Mexican Spanish, texting Spanish and don’t even get me started on doble sentido (that’s for another post). But there were also clichés and idioms. I was overwhelmed and excited. Sometimes I was even accused of liking those expressions more than regular Spanish. But I was older now and more confident, I realized I liked these very expressions for their history and colorfulness.
I mean isn’t it more fun to ask are your squirrels squeaking (son sus ardillas chirridos?) than do your armpits smell? Or are your dogs barking rather than do your feet hurt? I’m just sayin….