I wish I could speak Spanish. Over the past 40-ish years, I’ve taken formal and informal classes to learn the language: community college classes, university classes, on-line classes. I bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Spanish to read along with the English version. Might I say that was an effort in determination, but I pushed through.
A program called Command Spanish was the most usable, applicable, and functional training I experienced. Back when I brought this training to my exceptional student services providers, there was an in-person instructor that came along with the program. I checked the website, and now there are trainings for just about every profession, which is remarkable. The program is built around the idea that when we learn our language as babies, we learn ‘commands’ long before we learn sentences. It was a worthwhille program, and I still have the notebook of training materials.
I can read signs and notices in Spanish (danger, wet floor, restroom, etc). What I’m unable to do is converse in, or understand, when spoken to in sentences. I might catch a word or phrase when I overhear a conversation in Spanish, but that’s the extent of it.
The formal college textbook approach wasn’t effective for me. I never wanted to learn formal Spanish, anyway. Conversational is sufficient. I also realize the more nouns and verbs you have in your non-primary language, the better you’ll be able to function in that secondary language simply from possessing a decent vocabulary. You can fumblingly fill in the adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, and prepositions.
Change “English” to “Any other language” in this 5th Element meme, and this fits me:
Just like my lack of musical ability (can’t read music to save my life), I think I have a mental deficiency when it comes to learning Spanish (or any other language) at a the level of communicable proficiency. If I knew someone to converse in Spanish with on a regular basis, I know that would improve my grasp of the language.
Until next time,
writing through history one romance upon a time