(Sorry I haven´t written in a while. I´m in the process of applying to colleges, so I haven´t been able to update my blog. I thought it was funny what Diana said about this. She said that she doesn´t think my senior year will ever end. So true, so true.)
So after being here, it´s obvious that English is the universal language. All the students here in Ecuador are taught it in school (it´s a different story about whether they can speak it or not), and all the other exchange students know and can speak it a little bit, if not fluently. When we get together with other exchange students, we usually start out speaking Spanish, and it somehow ends up in English. This happens quite often except when the French girl in my Rotary club, Jessica, is around, because she knows very little English and is better at Spanish.
I do feel at a disadvantage since I only spoke one language (now two!), but I am glad that I can speak English well. All the Europeans are taught British English so most of them have an accent from England (along with the accent of their country). They would ask me if they have a strong accent. When we were with all the exchange students, I told them how the students from Australia and New Zealand had strong (and cool!) accents (I tried to talk to them a lot because of that). Since English is not some of the exchange students´ first language, it does make for some pretty hilarious moments. One thing is that they always cuss. This is pretty funny sometimes because they use these words so freely in their normal conversation and quite often. In my class at school, the students just sometimes shout out English swear words, and I look around with my eyes wide-open. I tell them that it is strong in English, and they tell me that in the movies they always hear cuss words. That´s great, basing the English language off the movies.
Short story: I was talking to a girl (I´m not going to name a nationality) and she was asking about my high school in the US. She asked me if we had uniforms, and I told her that we didn´t. She looked a little shocked and then told me that she thought that all schools in the US wore uniforms because she saw them in the movie High School Musical. I explained that some schools, like the private ones, do. We did go on to talk about how we do have lockers in US schools (the movies were right about that one).
Another funny thing is when they say things that don´t really make sense. An example of this is when we were on the trip with all the exchange students. We were in our hotel room (there were six of us in our room) and about to go to sleep. Right before I turned out the light, the kid from Norway kind of said kind of quietly, "Whoa, it´s not good to go to bed without animals on your pillow." I still don´t really know what that means. It was pretty late (or early in the morning), so maybe that was the reason.
I do have a great respect for all these students who can speak several languages. I try to relate it to me speaking in Spanish, my second language, and I realize that most are really good and well-taught in English. It is amazing some of the sayings they know and how well they can understand it.
Since they all speak more than two languages, I´ve decided to work on some more languages of my own. I´ve started learning a little bit of German from the German students and the Swiss student (even though the Germans tell me not to listen to the Swiss boy´s accent). I´m thinking I´m going to try to pick up a little French, too. So, there´re some more goals for this year. Good on ya!