No todas son grúas, Mama

I’ve lived in the continental US for roughly 14 years now, studying and working mainly in English. I thought I’d been doing a good job of maintaining my Spanish, but as soon as N started getting curious about the names of things and their functions and their why why whys, I realized I needed a more extensive arsenal at my disposal. Growing up bilingually, I tended to speak Spanglish (with an emphasis on the ‘glish) when it came to topics I associated with the US, which to me included, among other things, anything to do with snow. It’s a vocabulary I learned through movies and trips to the US so for me, “copo de nieve” just did not have the same whimsical feeling as “snowflake.”  Little did I know as a young girl in Puerto Rico, that I would be spending my adult years in the cold and snowy northeast.

And leave it to a toddler to make you question your most basic knowledge. Until a year ago, I called most construction vehicles either trucks/camiones or cranes/grúas, but unsurprisingly that did not satisfy N’s curiosity.  And the list of topic-specific words I’ve had to learn goes on and on — basically every time N or E move on to new obsessions, I realize all over again how much I have to learn.

So what do I recommend for those of you who may be going through the same thing? Books. Lots and lots and lots of books, with a side of Google Translate and a dash of some well-chosen programming.  As I add more content to this site, I’ll be posting topic-specific recommendations and resources for Spanish language books, shows, movies, and activities that may make things a little easier for you.

2 Replies to “No todas son grúas, Mama”

  1. Senorita Fantastica, (if you use this name I want royalties!)

    This is excellent and thought-provoking. I speak more Spanish than many of the parents at my daughter’s preschool yet my daughter speaks little more than what she learned on Dora. My fearlessness in Guavate and La Guancha and at Noche Puertorriquena has been replaced by excuses. Much as you did como mi estudiante, your musings motivate me. I will be checking when possible. #siyopuedo

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