Monday, February 17, 2014

Learning to Speak Spanish May Make Me a Better Lector

I have a great appreciation and love for my service as a Lector in my Parish. A while back I wrote this post regarding Lectors and service.

Three weeks ago I wrote this post about learning to speak Spanish.

At the time I did not see a connection between the two, but I do now. That's what I'd like to share with you here.

Something that has become very clear to me is that in the Spanish language (and I understand many others as well) there is a much more precise pronunciation of words and syllables. Much more precise. In fact, it has become clear to me just how lazy one can become speaking only English.

Hailing from the New Orleans metropolitan area for the first 38 years of my life has formed in me an extra "lazy" pronunciation. We have a very "laid-back" pronunciation (accent). Oh, and sorry Texans, but living here for the past 8 1/2 years has not really been much help either.

This has become evident, almost painfully so, as I have completed a little more than 3/4 of the first level (there are five levels) in the Rosetta Stone course. The course affords me the opportunity to hear myself speak the language. Oh brother!

It becomes even more obvious when I attempt to speak with friends whose native language is Spanish. Many times they correct my pronunciation of words that I "thought" I had achieved the proper pronunciation for. I am pretty hard on myself, so it's difficult to learn that what I accept from myself is not really acceptable.

However, this type of correction is exactly what I need and want and why I appreciate the honesty of my friends for helping me with this. You see, I am truly motivated to do this correctly and not just "get by" or accept something that is less than what I am able to achieve.

Just "scratching the surface" to explain a bit, there are 29 letters in the Spanish alphabet, not 26. (Oh, I understand that as of 2010 this has been "changed" in some locations to 27 letters, but I believe that it is more accurate to stick with the 29. Yes, yes, I know that even that was disputed by some. And yes, I have gone beyond the RS course in my studies.) Even the letters which correspond with the English alphabet have their own names and pronunciations.

Last week I came up in the rotation for service as Lector. This means that I began preparing right around the time I began to realize these things about my pronunciation in Spanish. So as I was preparing, I thought to myself, "You already take this service very serious, but perhaps you need to concentrate harder on a more exact pronunciation of the syllable during your readings."

I did, and I was pleased with the result. I will continue to include better pronunciation in my prayer and preparation. I am happy that this is a "side benefit" or result of my learning to speak Spanish.

Now I really need to get the rolling r sound down with those "rr" words!

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