Found in Translation

By: 

Copy Desk Chief

When the Ed board was first asked to come up with blog ideas, I spent a long time thinking about mine, since I knew I was going to be stuck with whatever I chose for the rest of the semester. In the end, I lucked out. I hit on an idea that is interesting to me, that I’m sure will be interesting to a wide audience and that offers a pretty rich array of potential topics. Unfortunately, Quixem had already called dibs on TV, so I had to settle.

Joking aside, why learn about bilingualism? It’s a popular topic among college kids, as most of us are willing to voice our opinions on the sorry state of foreign language education in the U.S. as well as the apparently rampant monolingualism in our country—and believe me, I will be writing about all that later. More to the point, a lot of students at Texas State take foreign language classes as part of major or minor requirements or, at the very least, have studied a foreign language in high school. Collectively, our experience ranges from brushes with other languages to complete mental commitment, even if it is only commitment to making a C on that vocab test.

When I spent this past summer studying in Buenos Aires, I acquired a special interest in the ways people communicate when they don’t share a first language. Between experiences such as working in an office where English and Spanish were required and joining an English/Spanish/French-speaking family for an asado, I started to realize that awareness of language adds a rich dimension to social activity. And I realized that, yes, maybe being an English/Spanish major held more for me than passing tests and reading really trippy short stories (I’m looking at you, Julio Cortázar).

My plan for this blog is to share some of my own thoughts and knowledge on bilingualism, language learning and related topics. Mostly I want it to be a fun way for people (myself included) to learn new things and maybe look at language in a new light.

Hop aboard and all that jazz. I can’t wait to get started.