I didn’t learn english until I was in Kindergarden. I was born in NYC, but my parents didn’t know english and I spent most of my first years in DR.
Living on the first floor of 120th St. and St. Nick, I was desparate to learn English. I would talk to the kids from my window and just speak in “isekej cisoe ekle.” Pure gibberish. My parents would giggle behind my back saying, “Look she thinks she’s speaking English.” Mami said my first english word was “Fissssshhhhh.” And they would use my english skills as entertainment for parties. I was sooo smart:
What’s the English translation for “Lampara,” “LAMP,” I would say proudly.
What’s the English translation for “Bombillo,” “BOMBI!”
If English were just that easy… I remember going into Day Care and the teacher asking me to bring the “seasaw” from the hall with another kid…. I remember thinking… “WHAT’S A SEASAW!!!???? What in the world are we picking up???!!!!”
I was dumbfounded when I saw this thing in front of me. It’s funny that now at 28 I can’t remember what the spanish word for seasaw is, but it is my earliest memory of learning a word.