Monday, February 14, 2011

Parlez-vous Español?

In another week, I will have been here in Costa Rica for 6 months! Unbelievable! Second trimester of language school has been going really well, ...well....as good as it can go when you are stumbling through learning another language! This trimester I'm really coming to realize some of the intricacies of language and it's really interesting how some things translate exactly the same between languages, and sometimes things don't translate at all! Right now I'm learning the past tense, and it's interesting as it's a little different from how we speak in the past tense. We have been focusing on it since classes started a month ago, and it sometimes still bogs me down but I think I'm getting the idea. But I'm thankful that it allows me to have more complex conversations and I can make more sense. For example, now I can say "Last year I lived in Canada", whereas before I knew the past tense, I would have to say "Last year I live in Canada". I'm thankful for my years of Jr. High and Sr. High french as well, since many words have the same roots in both languages and it has really helped with my comprehension. However, sometimes my french vocabulary gets me in trouble when I say something to a teacher and use a french word instead of a spanish word! There are a few words that I can never remember in Spanish and they keep coming out in French! On the other hand there are some words in Spanish that I think are more useful than their english counterparts, and lots of words that are just really fun to say (I love any word with "mente" at the end...finalmente, exactamente, naturalmente etc.).

Today I came across a part of the BBC website where they offer "mini-lessons" in other languages! I clicked on the Spanish site and they have this interactive video mystery called "Mi Vida Loca" (My Crazy Life). There are 22 videos and during the videos you get instruction on some basic Spanish words and phrases then at certain points, the video stops and you get to use your phrases and words for asking directions, etc. It is for beginners and I am now working my way through the videos to see what happens at the end! After that, I might just try another language for fun! Here is the link for the website, if you have a few spare minutes give it a try and tell me what you think! (Please note, the video is from Spain, so the pronunciation is slightly different than in Latin America, but the idea is the same!)

2 comments:

Monty P said...

Yeah, it's always a bit weird to hear Spain Spanish after learning the Latin American version. Not drastically different, but enough that it sounds kind of funny. Especially when they pronounce the Z's like a "th" sound and say a word like corazon. Sounds like they have a lisp!

Glad to hear you're making progress! Hope it keeps going well.

shinbone #4 said...

I'm glad it's coming along... I bet six months can feel a bit like forever by now as you are by now pretty immersed in the life and finding your way in the culture. Which is also when language learning can hit it's next frustrating plateau (just a friendly warning). The feeling you should be further along than you are since you've been living there "forever"... but really when you think of how many words a six month old knows in their mother tongue you feel a whole lot better about it :D