My brother and I are the sons of Chilean immigrants who came to the US in the ’60s. Growing up, we were forced to speak Spanish with our parents, but between us, we spoke English. Indeed, our parents wanted us to do so. They knew that we would be going to English-speaking public schools and would soon enough learn English.
However, if they didn’t make sure to speak Spanish to us, they knew we wouldn’t learn it and we’d miss out on the great opportunity and advantage that knowing a second language is.
Growing up, I always noticed the stark difference between when I spoke Spanish and when I spoke English. At first, I just thought it was an emotional link caused by speaking to our parents one way and to my brother another way. I’m sure even single-language kids have had a similar experience. In the ’60s and ’70s it was rare to find a kid who addressed his parents “Yo, Pops!” or “Yo, Ma!” But calling your brother “Dude” was far more acceptable.
But after looking at this strange phenomenon more closely I started to realize that that was not it. There was something else going on here.
I don’t know exactly when the actual realization occurred to me. I just know that after a certain point, whenever I ran into someone who was learning Spanish—at a party or at a social function—I would trot out and share what I gradually was starting to think of as The Cartesian Spanish Pronunciation Lesson. That lesson is now The Cartesian Spanish Pronunciation Lesson eBook and when you buy it and go through it you will become the new, proud owner of that secret distinction.
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