Saturday, 20 September 2008

The Spanish Language

What a beautiful language and, as with any other, it’s the putting together of the verbs, adjectives and nouns in the right order and not constructing sentences literally that is the key to fluency. After 5 years here I still have difficulty and I was urged to spare a thought recently in an article about Spanish emigrants who went to Switzerland in the 1950s to 1970s who still have problems with the German language.

More than two million Spaniards emigrated during that time; many went to Basel, Switzerland, fleeing from a backward, impoverished country. Of those who decided to stay, their average age is now 69 and have formed the Arco Iris Association and conducted a survey among themselves. 336 Spanish residents participated and about half the men and three-quarters of the women say they have never managed to learn the German language well.

I find this an odd statistic because in my experience here, it is the women who work the hardest at learning the language. Couples start classes together, then the majority of the men give up and leave the talking to the women. Was it ever different? Women seem to work harder at keeping up contact with family and friends; they send the birthday and seasonal cards and, generally, keep the whole social scene humming along.

Am I right or am I being sexist.