I have been bad, I’ve read and learned how to talk dirty in French. And I tried to gloat this new skill by texting a line to my Senegalese friend at Jackson State U, he just laughed at me. Then he told me to find the meaning of Lady Marmalade-Moulin Rouge soundtrack line, ‘voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?’ …I googled the line and wow …I blushed 😮
You know, you’re never entirely the same person in any two languages.
There’s inevitably one in which you feel most yourself–probably the one you grew up in. It’s the one where you can play with the rules, rage with eloquence, indulge in fancy and be most effectively sly. The one you think and mumble in when you’re sleepy and want to go home.
With each new language you begin to learn, you’ll find varying degrees of affinity–from flat out love and understanding to inexplicable aversion. I doubt any logic can account for our spontaneous reaction to the music of an unknown tongue–why some seem sexy, some jar the ear and others are a persistent source of mockery.
And a curious thing happens each time you’ve reached a certain point in your grasp of another tongue. You’ll notice that it heightens certain aspects of your mental make-up. Make you more brash or serene. In a sense overtaken by the language’s personality, by its cadence and poetry and interpretation of this mess of human existence. Those you love, put a new spin on things, change your dreams and help it all make a tad more sense.
While your gesticulating hands take on a life of their own.
Hmmm now I wonder, when you dream, in what language do you dream?