Ruh-roh, I think my brain is re-wiring

26 Apr

Spanish is starting to sound natural to me. This is very, very good news. But English… I can hardly spit this out: I’ve been making spelling mistakes. With increasing frequency, Gmail or Google Docs has put a red squiggly under a word after I’ve moved on the next one. At first I questioned why the spellchecker didn’t have certain words in the dictionary. But as it’s kept happening, I’m afraid there might be a better explanation. Spelling mistakes are very much a new thing for me (go ahead and laugh–please remember that I was very disappointed when I came runner up in the 3rd or 4th grade spelling bee). The other night, it took me until the next morning to remember the instinctive spelling of “legitimate.” For a long time, I sat staring at the red squiggly. I tried all kinds of things that didn’t make the squiggly go away and only the next day while I was walking downtown or maybe sitting in the kitchen, the word suddenly sort of appeared in my brain and it was obvious again.

Spelling isn’t all that’s wrong, however. I routinely find, upon re-reading what I’ve written, that left a word out or put in one the wrong order. This is very troubling! I have rarely needed to double-check my writing for grammar and spelling mistakes. No the purpose of revision is to smooth any rough edges [ok, this is getting ridiculous–the errors in the second sentence were for fun, but I really did forget the comma after “No” just now]. There are two possible explanations for this phenomenon. One is that I’m getting old. Of course, I know better than that. The second is that as I learn Spanish, my brain is somehow re-wiring. If that truly is the case, then I am left in complete awe of the Creator of the human mind. The capacity for learning our first language is a miracle, especially when you consider that two year olds do it. But the capacity to learn a second language at age 43, well… it blows my mind.

5 Responses to “Ruh-roh, I think my brain is re-wiring”

  1. kcauble April 27, 2014 at 6:38 am #

    Congratulations! You are entering the world of increased confusion even as you pass through the gates of increased understanding! Just wait until people start laughing at you when you express English thoughts in Spanish idioms in English words. The fun has just begun 😉

  2. Bartee April 27, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    Give up, right click, it will give you the spelling. DAMHIKT

    And, there might be some of us that did not see any mistakes in your grammer.

    Blessings my friend, you have made it to a new place in your life. You do not even want to know what happens at 66.

    Always great to hear from you.

  3. michael CHANDLER April 27, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    It has to be re wiring.  Age certainly has nothing to do with it!  Umm, I can still read your posts fine.  I may be reading the corrected version but you have not forgotten English.  This amazing every 2 year old can learn his native tongue.  Learning new tongues at any age is more amazing but especially after 40!  I’m sure Vicki agrees!

    Love,   Dad

  4. Peter L April 27, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    I had/have the same problem. I used to be a great speller in English, but now words that are close in both languages give me problems, such as “origin” in English and origen in Spanish. And there are times when I can think of the Spanish word for something but not the English.

  5. Millie April 28, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    I go with the second explanation! English is way to complicated to write!!! Your brain is getting use to the simpleness of Spanish writing.
    No comprendo como un niño de 5 o 6 años puede aprender tantas reglas de fonetica (phonic rules) y aprender a leer en ingles. El español es tan simple, solo escribes lo que pronuncias, con excepcion de las palabras con “h”!!!

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