Monday, October 30, 2006


(I’m still sorting through my impressions of last night’s open mic, so I’ll write about something else entirely.)
At Coco’s school they sing songs. Nothing new there.
But Coco is in a Spanish program, and of course the songs are in Spanish. And that’s really the problem. The songs are merely IN Spanish. But they’re not Spanish songs.
I arrive to a song sung to the tune of Frere Jacques, but the words are “Adios Amigos.”
Okay, so it’s not that terrible to make A-dios into a two-syllable word, but more syllables get smushed together later in the song and that can’t really be helping anyone, can it?
I think, frankly, it sends a terrible message. (Okay, terrible is too strong, but hear me out.) It’s saying, subliminally, that Spanish songs to Spanish or Latin American melodies aren’t good enough for school use. And it also says that the Spanish language is not musical, when nothing could be further from the truth.
Why not use Spanish kids’ songs? I’m sure they have them. Wouldn’t that give a better insight into the culture?
This whole problem is even worse on a “German” language CD we have (from Berlitz) where they stick German words onto English songs. But they pry them in with a crowbar and then hammer them into place with overemPHAsis on incorrect sylLAbles.
It’s painful.
No wonder kids think that foreign languages aren’t as good.
Let the kids sing some Javier Solis or Carlos Gardel, I say.

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