No Mr. President, it's not too late to learn Spanish

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Over on there's a post from a few days ago about a recent interview with Barack and Michelle Obama for the end of the year. The interview itself is here, and the reason why it was mentioned on is because one of Barack Obama's regrets is not having learned Spanish to fluency (plus a musical instrument).

While regretting not having paid enough attention during class to learn Spanish to fluency is fine, I hope that he isn't implying here that this is a permanent state of affairs - that after a critical period in life the brain becomes hard as a rock, and no foreign languages, musical instruments or anything else of note can ever penetrate it again.

Also, Barack Obama already has quite good Spanish pronunciation. Compare this:

to a more typical example of not quite so fluid-sounding Spanish by Bloomberg:

Newt Gingrich's apology in 2007 in Spanish was going to be another example, but it appears to have been removed.


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