By Jasmine Nieves
My two languages that I speak are English and Spanish. My first language that I really didn’t get to know as I grew up was Spanish. Since I don’t know Spanish as much even though it is my “official” language I should be speaking, everybody talks to me in English and it has always been like that. I should be speaking this language because my family and parents were born Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans speak Spanish. I should have known how to speak the whole language already. My Everyone trys to speak to me in Spanish.It can be hard for me to keep up.“
¿Como es tu día para hoy?”says my aunt and
“Mi día estan bien”.
“No estan muy bueno, porque no muy bueno.”
After this point, I try to answer and then I start to freeze up, I still try to explain myself but it gets too hard. There are times when my original Spanish language gets caught up with my mind.
“¿Qual es tu tarea por a hoy?”, asks my aunt. I start to think to say to myself, “Oooo, this sounds easy. I could answer her question”, then I answer it. “Yo tengo Geometria, Ciencia, Ingles, Español y Historia”.
I didn’t learn it because people probably thought me speaking in English would probably be easier for me to speak Spanish. I want to change that because Spanish is my native language and I should be speaking it more.
When people other than my aunt talk to me in Spanish, I feel more confident, but still a tad bit shy about speaking because I might mess up. I guess I have to understand that it’s okay to make mistakes when I try to speak my Spanish language because I’m just learning the language.
My mom and dad are both Puerto Ricans. Both my mom and dad’s side of the family both speak Spanish. I grew up learning Spanish and then I forgot about it. But it felt more as if I learned more English growing up.When my mom and my dad had me as their child, I could tell as I grew up as a kid to what I am today, that I am born a Puerto Rican. So its a mixture of both languages. Even at school, I struggle doing things in Spanish. I have a struggle when it comes to tests or quizzes, I forget everything or some things from when I studied the night before. This is not on purpose, I just don’t know why that happens but it happens all the time. Don Marcos is my teacher is Spanish Class. “Take out a pen or pen. You’re going to have your test/quiz”. I take out a pencil from my pencil case and try to start the quiz or test he gives the class. When I see some of the questions I think I know them but sometimes I can’t remember some of the words. I usually leave two or three questions blank because I didn’t remember. When its time to hand it in, I sort of look scared and my hand shakes a little because I think I didn’t do so good on it.
“Reflexive verbs have two verb phrases” he says. “A boot verb keeps nosotros the same but the others different” he continued. As he continued to explain what Reflexive Verbs are or just explaining things to make it our notes. I write it down because that is what we study from. I thought I knew it as he was telling us. But when he started to ask questions, benchmarks, quizzes or tests, I feel as if I’m going to fail his class. I seriously need Spanish help. I don’t know why I don’t understand Spanish more but still know a lot of English. It’s ok for me to speak two different languages and speak the other more. I want to try to speak and learn about Spanish in order to stay in tact with my Puerto Rican background and my family. Also, my family also wants me to try to speak the language too but its hard for me. I wish I had some Spanish tutor to help me better understand how this whole Spanish thing works because I want to learn. Learning Spanish is what I really want to know what it comes to languages and others too, but first I would like to learn Spanish. My national language is very important to me. My internal and sort of external struggle, is me speaking Spanish vs me speaking English. The Spanish language came from my mom and my dad. They both had Puerto Rican parents and they had a Puerto Rican family which made me Puerto Rican. The relationship between language and power is that every voice and everybody has a right to say anything they want. This is a basic rule the Constitution gave to the people. When they start to speak about something with a lot of feeling and emotion, it’s called power. What my language says about me is just that. We all have a voice and we should use it whenever possible because it could come in handy one day. I understand that language and identity intersect.
As I got older my aunt kept asking me “Do you want to take at least 15 minutes a day and speak Spanish”? I would say “Yes” but when the day comes we speak it only a little bit. I was made to be a Puerto Rican and I will always be one and that idea will continue to live on. I’m learning about it in high school. I’m improving but not that much on the subject or just at home talking about it with my aunt. Language is not that big of a conflict at my house. I’m just not that confident or I’m just worried of what words to use if I can’t remember them on time when the person, I’m speaking to, is in front of me. It’s the same way at school but a little bit worse. It’s a little bit worse because I have tests, quizzes and benchmarks, I’m afraid I might fail. How I feel about it now is the same way I’ve felt about it before, which was confident and felt like I didn’t remember. I should have remembered all these times because I’m Hispanic but I would always forget. When I try to remember, I have a lot to remember from the class and other things on my mind, that I can’t seem to remember what to say. I feel my Spanish will not improve now but as I get older and practicing more and more everyday with my Spanish, I know I will get there like I know my English growing up. I’m trying to say Spanish, in general is my hardest language than my English. I’m fluent when I speak in English but not as much when I speak in Spanish or do anything that has to deal with Spanish. A quote by Richard Rodriguez could relate to what I saying 50% of the time. “An accident of geography sent me to a school where all my classmates were white, many of the children of doctors and lawyers and business executive.” This relates to what I’m trying to say is because this person spoke a different language and they didn’t feel right at the school because there were different races and he wasn’t comfortable just the same way I am uncomfortable with speaking Spanish.