Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Learning Spanish

No hablo español, pero estoy aprendiendo.

I have Rosetta Stone, and it's fairly good as a replacement for immersion, training through visuals. If my sole aim was to get ready to visit a Spanish speaking country, it would be very useful. However, the main problem *I* have with Rosetta Stone is the lack of motivation. I forget about trying to do a lesson until late at night when I'm too tired to do it. So I don't do it, and I don't learn.

I also have a number of Spanish/English dictionaries, including an awesome picture dictionary. I also have an awesome little book published in 1943 called Spanish At Sight that's just fun. However, just plain reading isn't going to do it. I need feedback.

Recently I found Duolingo and started the Spanish course. It comes with reminders, which have helped me to remember to do my Rosetta Stone lessons along with the Duolingo lessons! In addition, I can "compete" against people, including my husband, and try to get a higher daily score than them. It's pretty good motivation. (If you wish to join and compete against me, my username is LauraGjova... no, I didn't pick it).

Two of the ladies in the front office at the newspaper speak Spanish. I have been testing my Duolingo phrases with them, improving my pronunciation and often clearing up my understanding. And often amusing them with the goofy phrases that Duolingo comes up with.

So, for 2014, I hope to learn enough Spanish to be able to conduct an interview for the paper. I want to be able to assist people at the front office when the Spanish-speakers are in the back. I want to know what folks around me in this town are saying. My ultimate goal is to get through the entire "tree" on Duolingo and be able to read and speak the most basic Spanish. Let's see how far I get...