Thursday, July 9, 2009

Struggling With My Spanish!

Have you or anyone in your family struggled to learn English or another language? Well, I can empathize, because I am having such difficulty understanding and speaking Spanish! I'm always saying "Mas despacio, por favor" (more slowly, please). I have not spoken Spanish since I was a college student in the mid-1970s and I am feeling quite frustrated right now.

Spanish was my minor in college and I spent two summers living with a family in Quito, Ecuador. That was when I fell in love with Latin America -- the people, the culture, the history, los Andes mountains Although I did not become fluent in the language, I spoke Spanish quite well back then. So, naturally, I thought it would all come back to me now, but I am having a terrible time remembering the most basic words. Also, since so many Americans live in San Miguel de Allende -- at least 6,000 --everyone speaks English. So, I am now asking the local people to help me with my Spanish -- the shop keepers, taxi drivers, waiters, vendors, etc. I am a bit embarrassed when I make mistakes, but they are patient with me and I'm making some progress.

Tonight I am going with my new friends, Jadita and Graciela, to an authentic Mexican cantina that has been in the same family for several generations, la familia German. Years ago, it was a favorite hangout of writers Ernest Hemingway and Jack Kerouac. I am hoping to practice my Spanish and have some really good Mexican food! I'll try to get some photos to post on the blog. Hasta luego!


Francis John said...

Actually i have and i still do. I think i like Spanish enough that I’m going to take it again. And this time i won’t stop until i learn it completely.

To think about it, it's really not that hard. I just have to commit.

Marilyn Kulik said...

Good for you! I agree that it really does require a commitment. One also needs to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

Thanks for posting your comments!