Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Aprendiendo Espaňol es muy dificil

My Spanish is not going as well as it should be. The classes I was taking last year have stopped. Christmas kind of broke things up, the class took a break anyway and I was in England for a while. When I returned my work picked up quite a bit which meant it left me with little free time. And work will always have to come before anything else at the moment.

I’ve tried various ways of being able to study from home. I subscribe to a podcast that I was listening to regularly, until my headphones broke and I had to wait to get new ones. Now I’m just waiting for this period of visitors to die down so I have some free time.

I’ve found twitter handy for learning. I follow a few Spanish people and have tweetdeck set up to show their tweets. That way I can learn and read actually Spanish like how they would speak it.
Another little way I’ve been learning Spanish is by having a module on my igoogle home page. One that displays a Word of the Day.
Not only does this module give you the word, its pronunciation and obviously it’s meaning, it also puts it in to a sentence.
I find these help me with my word structure a lot.

There is one problem though with Spanish. Any word you learn and think you know off by heart can change so much within a sentence. A lot of Spanish is about how the sentences are implied rather then literal said.
The one I can never get is siento. It can mean either saying you’re sorry or sit down. What if you wanted to say just sorry and not sit? Or sit and not sorry? What if you wanted to tell someone to sit down so you can say sorry? And if you said it would they think you were telling them you were sorry they were sitting?

Another example was from my igoogle module yesterday. Here it is.

Word of the day
Es claro, verdad?

Claro here can mean light, pale or fair. (Claro can also mean about 25 other things according to google and used to me “understood” as in “that’s clear” in sentences in the same sense you or I might say “that’s clear” when given instructions)

But anyway, the sentence given says “she has black hair and CLARO eyes.” But as you can see they’ve changed the meaning of claro, which they only just explained mean light/pale/fair they now say means blue/gray/green eyes. They didn’t say that before.

GAH!

The one thing that annoys me more then all of this word sex-change type of business is the fact that I can’t use my Spanish here.
Every time I go to a bar, restaurant or shop and try to speak in Spanish the person will always reply in English.
I understand that this town is a town built on tourism and such and it’s good that businesses employ bilingual employees for times when people might not speak Spanish but I just wish that if someone was putting in effort trying to speak your language that you would help them out and first try speaking back to them in your that language.

4 comments:

miss*H said...

I used to speak spanish pretty well however not having being to spain for yonks or even having anyone to speak spanish to i've kind of forgotten most of it, however i always used to use claro in the 'understood' sense and didn't realise it had any other meanings..you lean something new everyday!

Guiri said...

I feel your pain! But I'm sure the Spanish say the same things about English. You've just got to accept it and learn the words in the right context.

I don't think sentir and sentar will be too troubling for you soon. The important thing is to stick at it and don't talk yourself out of learning Spanish.

Not to put a downer on you but the phrase is "está claro" not "es claro". I got pulled for it the other day in my Spanish lesson! See, some things do stick!!!

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