Week Twenty-One – Work On My Bucket List

My old Latin book. If these guys were around and limited to the vocabulary in this book, I could talk with them, easy.

I only speak English.

Singing is a different story, but when it comes to talking, I’m limited to my native tongue. I studied Latin in school, which was awesome because I got to do independent study with Geoff and AJ, and independent study meant that Mr. Zolar and Mr. Larocca left us alone… providing we got our assignments done. But beyond a better background in English, Latin doesn’t help me carry on a conversation with anyone… not even a Roman. They’re much more advanced these days, apparently.

There have been many times that I’ve felt a little tug on my sleeve from the fairy that doles out good ideas. When I’ve paid attention, she’s suggested that I learn Spanish. I’ve written her suggestion down on my bucket list. I’ve liked her suggestion… I’ve even done some research on her suggestion, but I am so good at procrastinating. I just never begin the process. She keeps coming back, though, and this week, I decided that it was time to listen to her.

I’ve had a Random House “Living Language “ Spanish course sitting on my bookshelf for years that I pilfered from my parents’ house. It consists of a course book, a Spanish dictionary, and two cassette tapes containing forty lessons for beginners or people who want a good review. Amazingly, I even had access to a cassette player. Who has those anymore?

Coursebook? Check. Cassette player? Check. Vanna White skills? Check-minus.

My roommates weren’t home, so I flipped to lesson one, read it, and then pressed play on the tape recorder, dutifully repeating sounds and words as they were fired off, lesson by lesson. Thankfully, I’ve been around Spanish enough that I understand a lot, but some of the sounds were a bit tricky to make without sounding like a gringo.

¿Puede usted decirme dónde el aeropuerto es?

¿Puede usted decirme dónde el… airopuerto… el airrrrropuerto… Dang it.

Then my roommates came home. Bless their patient hearts. For the next few hours, all they could hear were both Latin American and Spanish pronunciations and me parroting back as best as possible, stopping the tape, rewinding it, and trying again.

I only got through about ten lessons, but it was a start. I’m not super crazy about the way the program is set up, and if I could have my choice, I’d learn on a program like Rosetta Stone or Tell Me More. Both of them are a hefty investment, but they seem so effective. Check out Rosetta Stone at http://www.rosettastone.com/learn-spanish/level-1-2-3-4-5. You can even demo the software on the website. (I’ll admit it. I covet Rosetta Stone.)

All of that aside, I am happy that I kicked procrastination in the teeth and got started on a long-overdue goal. The plan is to keep learning and hopefully save up for a more effective method. Then maybe take a trip to put it to use! But that’s in the future.

Then again, they do say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I hope that this single step takes me somewhere awesome.


7 thoughts on “Week Twenty-One – Work On My Bucket List

  1. Kaarin Engelmann says:

    Save up your money and go to Antiqua, Guatemala, for a several week intensive Spanish study course. It will be an adventure and you’ll come out speaking well!

  2. Sarah says:

    Cornelia! I still have my Latin work book and got a Latin-English dictionary because I really did want to learn it more.
    I also want to learn Spanish and covet the Rosetta Stone program!

  3. Sarah says:

    Good for you! I took a little Italian and Sign Language at BYU and have almost completely forgotten both. But I remember enough of Italian to pronounce Spanish with an Italian accent, darn it!

  4. "Poly-Shana" says:

    Hey! I think I remember that book from your room.
    For your “Gee Wiz File” while we’re working on making the Big Bucks come in – I’ve been slobber-drooling over this one:

    We’re working on teaching English classes to folks in our Branch and think this would work in reverse. So hard to get by when you don’t have the words. I could see you having fun with your new skills next time you head on down to Mexico :o)

  5. Mary Lee says:

    Felicitaciones! Next time we can greet each other in Spanish. I’m glad you chose such a great language to be your first second one :). Hasta pronto!

  6. “There have been many times that I’ve felt a little tug on my sleeve from the fairy that doles out good ideas.”

    hahaha! Not only are you adventurous, you are a talented writer!

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