So a few years ago, I posted My Linguistic Autobiography, modeled after an assignment given in a course called “US Latinos” at the University of Michigan, a course which I graded for Prof. Aparicio.
(I’m watching the Good Eats 10th Anniversary Special. I would have liked to have done a 10th Anniversary SpanishPod special, but alas, it was not to be.)
So here’s the update….
After two years spending eight hours a day with two Mexicans and a Basque, my Spanish has 1) improved , 2) deteriorated, and 3) Mexified. It’s improved in that I’m a lot better at swearing now (even though I don’t recommend that for 2nd language learners), and I know a lot more ridiculous words (i.e., “a la campechana” is a beef and pork mixture!). My Spanish deteriorated in that I don’t make an effort anymore to speak correctly, just let the mistakes come out. And my Spanish has Mexified in pronunciation, intonation, and lexicon…. Although I don’t hear it at all, at least one dominican lady accused me of sounding Mexican.
My French and Italian is about the same as it was a few years ago, French being stronger. I’m actually speaking a little bit of French in the office now.
Anyway, the big development is my Mandarin, which I can speak at a lower intermediate level; my comprehension is quite a bit less. Obviously I could survive in Shanghai, chat with the cleaning lady and my landlord. I can get anywhere in a taxi. I’m speaking quite a bit of Mandarin in the elevator with Amber. I don’t much expect to resume my studies, but you never know.
I might be taking classes in the business dept first. Once that’s done, I might try to go back to French, Italian, or Mandarin before starting something new. Maybe.
Or maybe I’ll just move to Brazil.