Before I started to write this blog contribution, I was not really sure which example I should take and reflect on it. Continue reading “Taking the metro in metropolitan Mexico City”
I had the advantage of already speaking Spanish because I grew up in a Spanish-speaking household. But still, I have learned a lot in Mexico, and it was also one of many reasons why I chose to do my exchange semester there. Continue reading “Reflection on language”
The first time I used the metro in Mexico City I had already spent more than 3 hours in taxis because as usual there was a lot of traffic in the city. So, when I needed to go back to the city centre my friend convinced me to take the metro as it is much cheaper. The metro costs five pesos, no matter how far you go. If you spend one hour in a metro it’s five pesos, if you spend one hour in a taxi it can be up to 140 pesos (if you get a cheap taxi). So we took the metro. For my friend this is very normal because he is from China and has lived in many cities where there are metros.
When I arrived I didn’t really understand what people were saying, but if I knew the context I imagined what they were trying to say to me. To learn a language in a course in Switzerland and to actually speak the language in the place where people speak it are two very different experiences. Especially due the fact that Mexicans speak really fast and that, they use very different words than the Spanish you learn in Europe (mostly because in Europe people learn Spanish as it is spoken in Spain) and they speak not as clearly as the teacher in a Spanish course.
The first people I started to talk to were the taxi drivers. However, these people speak very fast and not very clearly but still, it was a good start for speaking Spanish. Also, conversations with the taxi driver made the journey more interesting.
In Mexico City, there is a lot of “ruido” which means noise in Spanish. However, the people here understand “ruidos” not just as the regular noise of a city one might imagine it coming from a metropolis of 18 million people. Here “ruidos” are a special kind of sound; the sound of the Mexican salesmen bellowing throughout the streets. A sound so distinct and loud that you can hear it from a great distance, so that you already know what it is these salesmen are selling before they even arrive in your neighbourhood. For me, hearing this unique noise is something that I have never before experienced in my life.