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?
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.