Spanish As a Second Language

In 2009, I began to learn Spanish.  I had studied French in college but never really learned to speak the language.  Yet some of my French studies have stuck with me.  When I hear French, or read it, I can usually pick out some words and have some idea of what is being said.  Sometimes when I am trying to remember the Spanish word for something, the French word will come to mind.  I could have chosen French to study in 2009, but chose Spanish instead.  In part, I chose Spanish because the United States has a growing Latino population, and I am more likely to encounter a Spanish speaker than someone who speaks French or any other language—besides English, of course.

When I hear someone who is not a native English speaker speak English on television, I admire that ability.  I feel ashamed that I have been confined to speaking and understanding only one language—English.  After studying Spanish for more than four years, I am still unable to converse in Spanish.  So, I know how difficult it is to acquire a second language, and my admiration for the many people from all walks of life who have this ability is all the greater because I know what it takes.

The online resources for learning Spanish are very good.  I have bookmarked 50 – 60 websites that have information that is useful for anyone who wants to learn Spanish.  I am sure that there are hundreds more that I have yet to discover.  There are probably half a dozen that I have used frequently and continue to use on a regular basis.  In addition to the online resources, I have bought several Spanish books—including two dictionaries.  Our public library has an extensive collection of books, as well as instructional materials, in Spanish.  I have read several novels in Spanish.  Considering that I learned English and built my vocabulary by reading a lot, I try to read as much in Spanish as I can.  Last spring, I took a class in conversational Spanish through the local community college continuing education program.

Since beginning retirement, I have spent time each day improving my grasp of the Spanish language.  Retirement has allowed me more time to engage with the language and to engage with it more frequently.  I do not know if I will ever achieve “fluency” in Spanish, but my retirement has improved the odds.

It will be part of my learning process to translate my postings here.  I apologize to Spanish speakers in advance for the mistakes that I am bound to make.  While I realize that no one may be reading these posts, I hope that any Spanish speakers who read my translations will let me know of my errors and suggest corrections.  Your kindness will be greatly appreciated.

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    The English version of this post is Spanish As a Second Language. The Spanish translation is my own and may contain errors. I invite native speakers of the language to comment on my errors and to suggest corrections. Aquí está una traducción en español de Spanish As a Second Language.…
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