Thursday, May 9, 2013

Learning Spanish

   I have been trying to learn Spanish.  I am using Rosetta Stone which is provided by my kind employer.  I also watch telenovellas on Univision.  Although I have made a lot of progress I am still frustrated.  I like Rosetta Stone even though I feel it only  fills part of the requirement.  After nine months I still don't know how to assemble a proper sentence or conjugate a verb.  Part of the problem is my lack of time and not knowing a single Spanish speaker.  I watch a couple hours of Spanish television each day which has help tremendously.  I put the closed captions on so I can read as they speak.  I understand 50-70% of the story.  I get lost quite a bit but I try to look up the words that I don't understand.  Its tough learning a new language when you are over 50.
   Why learn Spanish?  I get asked this all of the time.  Number one is for business. I communicate with Spain and Latin America quite often.  Knowing a phrase or two seems to show respect.  I am also very fascinated by Mexican and Latin American cultures.  There is a huge landmass south of us that few Americans give much thought to other than tourism and illegal immigration.  Due to many factors Mexico has a rising crime rate which makes visiting there less appealing.   Whether this is amplified unfairly in the media is immaterial since "perception is reality".  Internet videos of tourists being shaken down by corrupt Mexican police adds to this perception.  Sadly this isolates Mexico (our North American gateway to Latin America) and restricts our access to learning and experiencing the beauty, people and cultures of such an amazing place.  Perhaps I am preparing in a futile hope that things will change.  Having Spanish as a second language within the US border does allow for some cultural experiences otherwise closed to the exclusive anglophone.  I won't comment on illegal immigration here since it is such a hot topic.  Although the issue is important I feel that Spanish is here to stay regardless of laws borders, etc.  In the Americas Spanish and English are intertwined and bound together for eternity.  I want to experience a little of that exchange.        
Site Meter