To: People on the old mailing list
Subject: Morocco, Portugal, more on Spain, Vaughan Town, other stuff
That one’s in English, I need the practise. Travelling with ‘anglos’ and then volunteering in an intensive English conversation program has made me realise A: goodness me it’s so nice to just rattle on for hours in your mother tongue, and B: Oh dear, my English has deteriorated so much! The presence of native speakers has made me self conscious of some changes. My vocab choice is weird and formal (I steer towards latin based words that Spaniards are likely to understand), I’m hesitant with conjunctions, I accidentally use Spanish grammar structures, and I’m constantly surprised and impressed when my listener understands phrasal verbs, idioms or slang, even if they’re an Australian who I’ve known half my life.
To make matters worse, my castellano went downhill the moment I left Hinojosa. When a friend picked me up from the Jaén bus station near the end of my journey, she said to me after only minutes of conversation “you haven’t been speaking Spanish recently have you? I noticed as soon as you started talking”. Ouch.
Of all ways, now it touches me to change the chip and burn my eyelashes studying. (Anyway, now it’s time for me to change settings, put my head down and study.)
But moving backwards. I wasn’t sure how to start this email, so I went and read the previous, looking for clues or something. It was no help, being too long, and full of nonsense.