Estoy Aprendiendo Español

One of my long-term goals at this point in life is to learn Spanish. I’ve been studying it seriously since January and I’ve gotten decent at it, but nowhere close to being fluent or being able to keep up in a conversation.

The main reason behind wanting to learn (other than being half-Mexican myself) is to learn the language that my family is built upon. My grandmother passed away a little over a year ago, and she was one of the few people in my family who spoke Spanish as a first language. My goal is to learn more about the culture, learn the language, and take a trip down to Mexico in her honor.

Another reason I want to learn Spanish is because I’m sick of not being able to help somebody just because I’m a sheltered American who knows only English. As much as I am against people coming to this country and not being able to speak English, I simply cannot bring myself to ignore a large chunk of the American population that speak Spanish. I want to be able to communicate with these people.

Right now I’m taking a Rosetta Stone course in Spanish (Latin American), and also listening to a podcast called Coffee Break Spanish. Every time I watch a movie at home, I turn on Spanish sub-titles, and I’m currently only listening to Latin music and trying to sing along (thankfully there are lyrics online). I also frequent one Mexican restaurant a week and try to converse with the staff in Spanish.

Have any of you tried to learn a foreign language? What was the biggest hurdle to get over if you did?

Gracias por leyendo.

25 Comments

  1. It's really great that you're learning another language. Good luck with it.

    Throughout my life I was learning different foreign languages, the last one was French. I was studying it intensively for about 5 months, and was already reading French classic literature in original (with the help of dictionary), and writing short essays. But now I forgot most of it because I didn't practice for several years already. Communication in a foreign language is essential, if there's no one you can talk with in that language, it's very easy to forget it. So I'm glad that you're going to that Mexican restaurant and talking to staff.

    Hopefully you'll make friends with native Spanish speakers and practice in it more.

  2. Muchas gracias para su comentario Vivien. Which means, “Thanks a lot for your comment.” I think 🙂

    Having native speakers definitely helps. One of my co-workers speaks Spanish, so I bug him every now and then and ask how to say certain words. Having the music and subtitles (on movies) helps a lot also when it comes to recognition and repetition. For example, I kept hearing the word “corazon” over and over again, and I finally looked it up. It means “heart”. Now I’ll probably never forget it.

    Ordering in another language is fun too. My hope is that I get so good that the staff will just talk to me in Spanish, but that will come with time and practice.

  3. I can’t claim that I know Spanish, but I definitely understood “Muchas gracias para su comentario” part be4 your translation 🙂 I’m quite surprised that only recently you looked up the word “corazon” – I think 90% of songs in Spanish have used that word at least once 😉

    Another Spanish phrase that everyone must know by now is Feliz Navidad – they play José Feliciano every Xmas here 🙂

    And thanks to Magnificent Seven everyone should know what means “muchachos” 🙂

    Yes, subtitles and songs definitely help with learning foreign languages.

  4. (I moved by the way, just in case you were wondering WHO IS THIS PERSON? =P)

    Learning Spanish, wow that’s a huge deal learning a language, I’ve had so much trouble learning languages, so well done!

    There is so much that I’ve wanted to do, things for myself, things about my culture… and now that you’ve mentioned you want to learn Spanish and be more involved with your culture since your grandmother has passed on (which I’m sorry about), it makes me think… I don’t want someone to pass on, or something dreadful to happen before I decide to do something, learn something, make use of myself…

    Anyway. You are doing so much, and learning so fast! Perhaps making a Spanish friend who only speaks Spanish? Therefore you could help them learn English, they help you learn Spanish? That would be a really nice… well, not project, but something that benefits both of you. Have a go watching a movie completely in Spanish, tell me how you do =P

    I went to Chinese school for 10 years, since I’m of Asian background, but it hasn’t paid of, or only in the slightest. I suppose it’s because I never had the interest – we speak chinese at home, but I’m not as fluent as I don’t come into contact with Chinese people a lot outside home. And the words… oh god. It’s horrible. Some pronunciations have 50 different characters for the same pronunciation, and if you can’t read one, you can’t read it. No way of spelling it out or anything, it’s yes or no. Horrible for me.
    I also do Japanese at school, but it’s really hard to learn. It’s a lot of theory (but my current teacher is lazy, and we don’t even do theory) and no practical work, so it’s hard to learn and become fluent in speaking Japanese, other than just reading and writing.

    Oh man, my comment is so long. Might I also add, Spanish songs are so nice. At least the ones for Latin Dance are, so happy kind of music. Hahha =)
    Take care.

  5. Wowie. Jess has her own domain! Woot! Welcome to the big leagues… 🙂

    I have a co-worker who is trying to learn Chinese, simply because it is where the US will do a lot of business in the future. I definitely admire those who can speak Chinese and English. Way separate languages 🙂

    I haven't really listened to many Spanish songs before I began learning Spanish. Now that I have started, I don't think I'll ever go back. I agree with how happy they are.

  6. Practicing is very important. It helps you becoming fluent in speaking. I learnt English and French, both of them in school, but I had the chance to practice only English. I still understand French very well, yet when I want to talk, I cannot find my words fast enough. Now I want to learn Turkish, and I thought to get a Rosetta Stone course.

  7. Simonne,

    Rosetta Stone is very good, but you need something more. Music helps out tremendously, especially if you have access to the lyrics. I hope in six months I can look back on this post and be proud of how far I’ve progressed. We’ll see. 🙂

  8. Suerte y que aprendas pronto esta maravillosa lengua que es el castellano (español)

    Un saludo.

  9. Eñe,

    Gracias por comentario. Y gracias por el saludo tambien. My hope is to know enough soon so that I won’t have to use Babelfish. The only word I didn’t know up there that I couldn’t figure out was Suerte, which I know now means “luck.”

    For the non-Spanish readers, here is my “rough” translation.

    Good luck and that you will soon learn the wonderful language that is Spanish. A greeting.

  10. Lo siento pero muchas de sus palabras no son correctas. Es buen o buena suerte y Yo espero que tú aprendas pronto ésta lengua maravillosa que es el castellano.

  11. Maestra,

    Are you talking to Ene or me? I’m confused 🙂

    For those that do not know what Maestra (teacher) said:
    I’m sorry, but a lot of your words are not correct. It’s good luck and I hope that you learn soon this wonderful language that is Spanish.

  12. Lo siento
    I was talking to Eñe, disculpeme

  13. Ronald,

    Estoy aprendiendo Español tambien.

    Soy del Estado de Tejas pero soy estúpido.

  14. Ronald, disculpeme, pero el vebro SER significa a perement state were you born stupid?

  15. No hay problema maestra.

    For those who don’t speak Spanish, maestra isn’t insulting Gary. Soy is a form of the verb Ser, which is “to be.” It’s generally a permanent thing. Soy casada means “I’m married.”

    So when someone says “Soy estúpido”, it literally means, “I’m stupid” in a permanent state. Meaning, you were either born stupid, or you have a mental disability that is incurable. The correct way would be, “Estoy estúpido”. Both translate into “I’m stupid”, but one is permanent and one is temporary.

  16. gracias por su ayuda Ronald. Alot of people dont know what they are really saying when they change up SER AND ESTAR NO INSULTS TO YOU GARY! SI ASI, LO SIENTO MUCHO!

  17. Hello…
    I’m learning english, I speak spanish, so I want to help:

    first, I read:
    “Muchas gracias para su comentario Vivien”, well, correct would be:
    “Muchas gracias POR su/tu comentario Vivien”…
    then, I read:
    “Gracias por comentario. Y gracias por el saludo tambien”, correct:
    “Gracias por SU/TU comentario……..”
    And then I read:
    “Soy del Estado de Tejas pero soy estúpido”, that’s correct.

    “estoy estúpido” it’s incorrect…
    here we say:
    “soy/eres/es estúpido. ó somos/son estupidos.

    Hope it helped…
    If I made a mistake, please, notify me that, I want to learn too (english)…

    thanks, bye

    PLIP PLOP!!

  18. Lo siento pero Soy de panama y allá decimos estoy por que no nacía estupidios!

  19. ¿De dónde es ud.? si quiere ser estupdio entonces ud puede pero no yo . ¿Dónde vive?

  20. Hello,

    disculpa, me estás insultando?
    os exijo respeto.

    Estoy estúpido:
    622 resultados, gente aprendiendo idiomas generalmente.
    http://www.google.co.ve/search?hl=es&q=%22estoy+est%C3%BApido%22&meta=

    Soy estupido:
    17400 resultados, gente que HABLA CORRECTAMENTE.
    http://www.google.co.ve/search?hl=es&q=%22soy+est%C3%BApido%22&meta=

    Descuida, todos los días se aprende algo nuevo, Tengo 17 años.

    PLIP PLOP!!

  21. Ronald.
    Empezé a estudiar el español cuando tenía 40 años – nada es imposible. Por favor visiten mi podcast don Gerardo de Suecia en
    http://turbeng.wordpress.com/

  22. My hope is that I get so good that the staff will just talk to me in Spanish.

  23. wtf! i’m latino n i’m learning english in the same way you are! i watch movies with english subtitles and i only listen english music, well i must say that spanish i more difficult than english but go a head, currently i can chat with people in USA n canada in english! so if i can do it u’ll can too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*