My Superpower is…

Ryan Vesey

No, not to become a man.  The only picture of a super woman I could find on Wikimedia was called “Fashion Girl” (which apparently equates with “must show cleavage”) and I decided my feminist sensibilities were less offended by a picture of a man…  And I’m late again for this Daily Prompt since I’ve been a day behind on reading blogs but I liked this one so much I decided to do it anyway.

If this were my other blog I’d be writing about the power to make two people agree and spinning out till the world agreed on peace.  But for this blog, my superhero is going to fulfill a dream of mine.  Speaking other languages.  I started studying French at 10 and even had a summer session in the Sorbonne‘s French language program but never became truly fluent.  Later I took some conversational Italian.  Same deal. Turns out I’m very good at memorizing the rules of grammar and have an excellent ear for mimicking the proper pronunciation but as far as actual ability to speak the language …  not so much.

I lost count of the number of deer-in-the-headlight moments I had in France when, after I murmured a perfectly pronounced phrase or two, a French man/woman responded with a five page monologue at full speed (did you know they speak approx. 350 wpm to the U.S. avg. of 200?), of which I understood maybe 10 words.  Did you know it’s hard to even hear what’s being said if it’s said that much faster than the rhythm to which you’re accustomed?  Yep.  At least I read that a long time ago in an article.  And I can understand French better in a place like Martinique where it’s spoken more slowly.  So my superpower would include the ability to listen to those other languages at the native’s natural speed.

I wouldn’t have to wear a wild and crazy costume in order to have my power — because I want to wander through little villages and chat with people who aren’t shaking with fear at being confronted by a freak who happens to speak their language perfectly.  So maybe I’ll just don an amethyst ring or an amulet to quietly wander around being a superhero.  En francais or …