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.
Some other stuff for later,
- 53The 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.…
- 46The English version of this post—In a Strange Land: Three—was posted here on November 2, 2016. This 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 In…
- 36The English version of this post—Retirement is the New Normal—was posted here on May 8, 2015. This 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 Retirement…