Argh, this is going to entail a revealing confession.
Ok, here's the hard bit: I watch Classic FM's video channel. I'm sorry if that destroyed anyone's image of me as cool, collected, capable and classy. I'm cheesy and romantic and a load of other things. I ALSO WATCH VH1 CLASSIC AND MAGIC. AND "KNIGHT RIDER" IF I CAN FIND IT. TAKE THAT. *Ahem* So there. :)
Tonight, the video for "Regresa a mi" by the quasi-classical (rather hot) group "Il Divo" was on. And I fell in love with Spanish all over again. It was my elective language from 7th to 12th grade, and I just loved the way it rolled off the tongue (the upside down exclamation points didn't hurt either). If I'm being tender, it's the language I'll tend to fall into - somehow it's more given to that than English is - there's something in the combination of rhythm and sound. I've heard Italian and it's close, but it just ain't Spanish. Spanish flows like molasses around you; Italian can be too...staccato, to borrow a word. It's lovely, but.
Many of our books are Latin and Greek, quite a few are French and German - but nothing makes my day like finding an old Spanish book that needs cataloguing - the writing is so beautiful that just saying the Spanish to myself makes me smile - the structure, the sound, the vocabulary (yes, the letter q, too, though Latin takes the qake there!).
But I digress. I sat down and listened - for those of you that don't know, "Il Divo" has 4 members - American, French, Swiss and Spanish. The song started, and...finally, Carlos Marin, the Spanish baritone, sang his verse. Oh. my. God. Stiff competition for triple chocolate cake and great sex...
There is nothing like hearing Spanish sung by a native speaker (Julio Iglesias is a borderline case). It sounds obvious, but the difference between a very good non-native speaker and a native speaker is far greater than one might think - the inflection, the rhythm, the pronunciation (of course!), the fluidity, the...almost carelessness with which the language is used by a native just can't be touched. When Carlos opened his mouth, the Spanish came alive - painting images of Moorish architecture, flamenco, siestas and sangria...bliss.
The next sexiest thing in the language top ten is having an Italian saying Latin mass (damn, I said that out loud) - let me tell you, tripping off an Italian tongue, Latin could be resuscitated if it were found in Tutankhamun's tomb.
So, gracias, Carlos, for making my evening. Viva el espanol - o, en Espana, el castellano! (Arrgh, how do you do tildes on this thing?)