2014-07-10 – I am studying Spanish. I think that’s what the title of this post means: yo estudio español. I got that from the Google translator. It looks good, but I’m not far enough along to second guess.
I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but I was nudged by the fact that, during the World Cup, the only access I had to the games was Univision. The announcing was in Spanish and I couldn’t understand most of it.
I understood “Go-o-o-o-o-o-l-l-l!!!” That’s about it.
So now I have an app. And I regularly try to read articles and ads from an online newspaper or two. I use the Google translator to help. Sometimes I can tell that a translation is bogus. Other times, who know. But I figure that, if I keep at it, little by little I’ll get better.
Forty-some years ago, I tried to learn Hebrew. Make that fifty-some years. I started out in Hebrew school as a child and learned to read the writing, but not to understand much. The aim then was to be able to read the prayers. Later, I began to gain in understanding. Eventually, I attended an intensive language program in Jerusalem, when I became borderline fluent.
The fluency came because I took a key piece of advice: “Don’t hang around with the Americans.” People who learn languages do so because they need to. If I would have hung with the Americans, I would have always had English as a fall back. Spending my time with the non-English-speaking Hebrew students meant that we had to use Hebrew or we couldn’t communicate. It worked pretty well. Children learn languages because they are immersed in it. Adults know how to escape.
So . . . where’s my Spanish immersion going to come from? I don’t know. Spanish speakers I know are quite fluent in English. And I don’t see them that often. For now, my “immersion” will come in the form of my app and the Internet.
As Google translate says: “Deséame suerte.”