I need to learn Spanish – a practical thought
For the past 3 years, my wife and I have been fortunate to clown at the Willman Industries company picnic in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin. In addition to “clowning around”, my wife spends the bulk of her time face painting the children there, while I make a lot of balloon animals. A comment that my wife made on the way home was that, “I need to learn Spanish.”
Many of the people at the picnic are Spanish-speaking. Even though the vast majority of the adults are bi-lingual, many of the younger children aren’t. In order to communicate, we either need to speak Spanish, pantomime, or both. I know some Spanish from college, and know enough to communicate clumsily in Spanish. For example, I absolutely never make balloon animals for children younger than the age of 3. It’s a choking hazard that could be fatal to a young child. “¿El Niño es tres años, o no es tres años?” Probably not the best grammar, but it allows me to ask the parents if the child is 3 years old — holding up 3 fingers as I do so.
My wife’s right — there are enough Spanish-speaking children to make it a necessity. But that raises the question, where do we stop? Do we need to learn Chinese? Hmong? French? It depends on where you live, of course. It reinforces the need for clowns (and other childrenâs performers) to use the art of pantomime, in order to communicate without words