Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spanish at week 10

My Spanish is definitely coming along. I no longer really have problems communicating. Hearing of course is still a huge problem, but most times I get the gist of what they say without understanding all the words. Case in point...Last time I was here in Buenos Aires with my host, he spoke in English 80% of the time. Now, only 10 or 20 % is in English when I don't know specific words.

I’m also learning about how I learn best. For example, I’ve been doing a lot of good old studying. Read a newspaper, write words down in Spanish and translate to English, read over and over again until I remember, which can take 10 or 20 times.

But it is interesting that I can remember exactly where I learned many words… whenever I say the word I think of where I learned it.

For example, in Lima, I asked my host the difference between ‘dejar’ and ‘salir’, to leave, and I remember him placing a pencil on the ground and saying ‘dejar’.

In Montevideo, Gonzalo’s dad Gerardo owns a machine shop. I asked him what he did. He told me he had a ‘taller’ like 8 times before I understood it. Plus, he said it with the Castellano (Argentinian/Uruguayan’ ‘sh’ sound, so whenever I say that, I say it with a ‘sh’.
In Punta Arenas, the grandma at the hostel was hacking up a lamb. I asked her how to say lamb. 10 minutes later, I forgot, and asked again. That night, I forgot, and asked a 3rd time, wrote it down, and now I remember it. Cordero.

In Bariloche, I had to tie my shoe while walking with my host Fabian, and asked how to say it. For some reason, I remembered the verb ‘atar’ instantly from thereon. I also remember learning the word ‘orno’ while cooking with them.

In Ushuaia, I did a bunch of cooking with my host. I was going to make a pie one day. I tried to describe the word ‘pie crust’ (the only similar word I could think of was ‘pan’ for bread), and she had to tell me like a 15 times it is called the ‘masa’ before I started to remember. I never made the pie, but had a hell of a time translating the recipe for her.

Well, there are actually many more words, but those are just some examples. Most of all, I learned I need to ask questions every time I don’t know a word, no matter who it is or where I am, even if it is the gas station clerk and I don’t know how to say ‘gum’ (chicle, which I learned from Gonzalo in Montevideo).

My host Lautauro (for the 2nd time in BA), sporting his 3 peso cooking bib from the Chinese grocery store:

Carrousel in Buenos Aires:

A Toy Mate cup:

Desserts from the state Tucuman.

With Lautaro & Selia from Sao Paulo, Brazil (Photo taken by an Austrian, ha):

Chicago: (Soccer team...)

In San Telmo:

Take A Guess, starts with an M:

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