I want to live in the world of virtual language learning software – a Garden of Eden full of Spanish-speaking families, running horses, and women eating rice. Some of them live in apartments; some of them live in houses. Some of them live near the street and some of them live far from the street. They are all happy, regardless. They play a lot of soccer with children and go bowling with their families. There is no friendlier sub-species of Homo sapiens than the people who populate the world of language learning software. A man can simply walk up to another man who is sitting on the hood of his Cadillac and say, “Hola. You are a man.”
Thirsty people of all ages, races, and nationalities sit around the dining room table together, thoroughly enjoying tall glasses of milk. They relish in each other’s company so much that they laugh in every frame. And let’s not forget the rice. People in language learning software love rice. Nothing gets their horses running quite like it. Bowls of white rice consumed with dexterously maneuvered wooden chopsticks are the social lubricant of their utopia.
If you ran into a man and woman sitting on logs at a camp in the woods – a common occurrence in the world of language learning software – you would casually join them upon that log. They would introduce themselves and tell you they are from Italy. They would give you water. They would give you a bowl of rice. They would take you back to civilization on horseback and many old men on the street would stop and pet that horse and say with great satisfaction, “This is a horse. I am a man” The couple from the woods would introduce you to everyone they know. “This is my mother. This is my sister. This is a police man. This is a Russian. This is a baby.”
You would struggle to figure out what ending you’re supposed to use to address someone new when you say, “Enchanted to meet you.” You would regret leaving your Rosetta Stone lessons to gather cobwebs for five months and mix up the verbs for eating and running. You gloomily recognize that you still can’t make that double-L sound as impeccably as the charming Spanish man who does the voice-over.
But you know it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, you know all of the Spanish you need to thrive in the world of virtual language learning software. The man, the woman, the Russian, and the grandmother will still be smiling when you use the wrong verb tense. If they are aware that you’ve made a mistake at all, they don’t have the words to express it anyways. The world of language learning software is a far simpler one than ours.