Archive - July 9, 2019

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A Writer Writes — “When I tried learning a second language while traveling, I realized I was doing it all wrong”

A Writer Writes — “When I tried learning a second language while traveling, I realized I was doing it all wrong”

 A Writer Writes     When I tried learning a second language while traveling, I realized I was doing it all wrong By Paulette Perhach (Paraguay 2008-10)  Published on Matador Network April 8, 2016 BEFORE WORKING IN THE PEACE CORPS in Paraguay for two years, I had never even heard of Guaraní. Guaraní is not in the Latin linguistic family tree I was familiar with. In fact, to my ears, this language sounded like it was from another planet. “Hello” is “mba’éichapa.” “Goodbye” is “jajotopata.” There are nasal harmonies and glottal stops. The “Yes” sounds like saying “he” for a long time, while holding your nose. Water is just spelled “y,” but it’s pronounced like the last sound of a drowning man. There’s just one word for “he” and “she,” but two words for “we.” And, oh yeah, by the way, nouns change depending on who owns them. “House” is just . . .

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