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Learning

I have been taking Spanish classes for over a year now. I officially started learning in January 2015 but had been flirting with the idea from 2012 since meeting my then Spanish boyfriend. At the beginning of last year I was still in a terrible grieving state having recently lost my father . I spent many evenings silently recalling the past few traumatic months and weeks towards the end. I was very sad and tried hard to keep it hidden but not always so well.  I needed to move forward in a positive way  rather than drown in sadness. On one  of these evenings I  googled ‘Spanish classes’ and Ealing Language School came up. I decided not to think about too deeply and called them the next morning and enrolled. It was a decision that I have not regretted. I am getting there slowly…

My original wordpress blog was named in homage to my then Spanish boyfriend but now I use it to practice my Spanish writing. It’s hard work but it’s fun. The lessons are still continuing but this year because of the wedding planning I have had less time to focus on the homework and practice. However I am still learning despite turning up homework less at my weekly lessons.

Why am I continuing? Well I guess it is obvious, I have married a Spanish man and his first language is Spanish, his family speak Spanish, so there was going to be no getting away from this. However I have also found it a satisfying challenge to learn something completely new. As a doctor I am always learning  treatments and conditions or rethinking of received wisdom but it is generally all part of the same thing. When I in the throes of a Spanish lesson or I am grappling with Spanish homework it feels like I am an investigator decoding, unearthing new and exciting facts.

I am learning that what I learned about English grammar in school was very basic. It is almost shocking! I am learning about tenses that I did not even know existed. I am conjugating left right and centre! I also have a better understanding of the small English grammar mistakes that my Spanish husband makes – I understand now that he is often directly translating from Spanish in the way that I make Spanish grammatical mistakes when I do a direct translations from English. It’s eye opening. I am learning about understanding the general meaning of sentences instead of getting bogged down by each and every single word and its order in the sentence – because English and Spanish are different in that way. It often feels like I am talking in reverse and my brain needs to get used to this!

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A beautifully preserved Seat in a sunny street in Estepona. Quiero conducirlo!                         In English I would say “red car”. In Spanish I say “coche rojo” = “car red“.

 

 

I am also fascinated by the fact that learning a language as an adult (well in the that I am learning it) is very different to how I learnt to speak. I heard and spoke first and then later learnt to read and write and the rules of grammar. The complete opposite to what is happening now. I should really be talking and listening more…

I have also learnt that attending adult evening classes is very different from my GCSE language years. I learnt French for 3 years and I completed a GCSE course in German (earned an A grade!) but I remember that it was an obviously more intense experience. I wrote, spoke, read and listened to more German and French language. I used to speak to museOne might think that it should be easy, living with a walking talking Spanish dictionary, however I think he finds my attempts at speaking Spanish at best funny and at worst frustrating. I cannot quite maintain a conversation. Just a few sentences at a time but when I want to say something outside of what I have been taught in the lessons – I struggle. I understand that I simply need to keep practicing. I should also start watching more Spanish films and television but I never quite have the time but again – like most things worth doing – I should probably make time! I should read more too. I did read an article on festivals on the plane on the way to Spain – I was so proud of myself (silent fish punch in the air)! I might one day even learn to appreciate spanish jokes! However it does require a great deal of mental effort on my part.

 

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“Going loco down in acapulco?”

There are three more classes before the end of the summer term and I currently battling with the present progressive…

 

Ahora estoy viendo este vídeo de español…

When I have the time I find these youtube language videos particularly instructive. They fill in the gaps from my Spanish lessons and Spanish books.

 

I continue on my journey. I have learnt that I really love the language, it’s really beautiful, and I love learning the language.

 

 

 

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