So as most people know, I am adopted from Guatemala; and if you've ever been to Guatemala, one of their main languages is Spanish. So of course, if I'm meeting someone new and they find out I am from a Spanish speaking country, they assumption is that I speak Spanish fluently. And while I WISH this was true, boy could they be any more wrong.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being Latina, and am proud to look like the many beautiful Latina women around the world, but there is nothing more awkward than when someone comes up to you speaking full on Spanish and the only thing I can come up with as a response is "I'm sorry, what?"
While as much as I would love to speak this beautiful language, I'll just have to admit defeat and that my basic skills just aren't enough. If there are any other Latinx out there that face the same struggles, don't worry because you are not alone!
1. The assumption that because you look Latinx, you know what they are saying
I don't think there is anything more awkward than the moment when someone comes up to me speaking Spanish faster than I can even process. While maybe I could pick up a few words if they said it slower, the reality is I just don't know enough Spanish. Embarrassed is an understatement when I have to ask them to say it again but in English.
2. Not fully being able to appreciate Latin music
Even in the States, popular music artists like Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Shakira have a big presence on the music we listen to. While everyone can enjoy and get down to songs like "Despacito" and "Gasolina", there is a part of me that wishes I knew everything that was being said in a language that I understood and that I could sing the song properly.
3. The struggle of Telenovelas
Nothing looks more dramatic and entertaining than the wondrous world of Telenovelas. Now, I am an avid "Jane the Virgin" fan and just from that show, it makes me want to dive into this Telenovela pool. Like if "Jane the Virgin" can throw me all of those mind-blowing twists and turns, I can only imagine the drama that comes with a Telenovela.
4. Not being able to have "secret conversations"
There is nothing I wish more than to be able to speak Spanish when I am with other Spanish speakers. It's always like they are having these secret conversations about you or something else that they may not want people to hear, and I want to know what they are talking about! I wish I could have a special language that I could talk about anything in!
5. Not being able to have go on vacation and talk
I think the worst part for me was when I was in Guatemala, my native country, and I was barley able to communicate with anyone. While they all were understanding that I only spoke English because I was adopted, part of me felt so embarrassed that I couldn't even be in my homeland and talk to my people without some help.
6. Having to explain the fact that I am adopted
Don't get me wrong, I am so proud to be adopted and to also be Latina, but having to explain to people that: 1. I am adopted and don't look like my family because of this and 2. that since I am adopted I really can't speak fluent Spanish can get old very quick.