Friday, August 10, 2007
Sometimes you forget what speaking English really means
Sometimes you forget what speaking English really means; for example. I am always so amazed how sharp and specific are the criteria when you are trying to get information about things in English. It’s not just whether you speak the language, you also have to learn how to ask a question. For example, today I asked the woman in the T.T.C. booth for information about which bus goes to the Exhibition and she replied that there are no buses going there, that’s it. No buses. Not a single opportunity to reconsider. Once again I said to her that I know that there is ‘something’ that goes to the Exhibition in summer time, and she said, ah! of course the street cars… but she didn’t immediately make the connection, no way! It’s English. But in Spanish we have a kind of fun where we can fit so many things at the same time; we can make the connection without hesitation. We understand that anything with wheels that carries passengers fits into the same category. But that’s the joy of learning English, you put your brain just on one side of the road and that’s it! Or could it be that I speak with an accent, and the woman was racist?