“I wanted to lie in a French crib and start from scratch, learning the language from the ground floor up. I wanted to be a baby, but instead, I was an adult who talked like one, a spooky man-child demanding more than his fair share of attention. ” David Sedaris, American humorist
Having teen daughters means it is frequently possible to laugh oneself nearly sick — the same way one did when oneself was a teen. (I know, two too many “ones…”)
Anyway, this time it was over a Spanish lesson one of them was taking on Duolingo, an on-line way to learn a new language. (Not a compensated endorsement.) Look at the picture and you’ll see why we were laughing.
Now, this was puzzling in its seeming impossibility.
Was Duolingo mocking the kinds of sentences Americans can come up with while trying to function abroad? “I have given birth to a toaster,” for example.
Was it sheer educational cleverness — offering nonsense sentences to make sure learners aren’t skating by on context clues?
Are Spanish-speaking people somehow doing things English-speaking people would get clawed to ribbons for — if we even dared try?
Whatever, swimming with cats. How ridiculous! We laughed some more.
But, a couple of days later, we noticed an odd story in the local paper. You guessed it! A feature on a regional, English-speaking person who also me gusta nadar en la piscina con mi gato!
Just like that, the impossible was possible. And, that, is something worth pondering these days.