¿Hablo español?

28 Jan

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DSC00766Some estimate 700 hours of study as a line of demarcation in mastery in language learning. I am approaching 400 hours. This trip Dana began his studies. I am able to carry on a simple conversation with our instructors and other students at Calle 55, our school in Merida. Dana is able to meet and greet.

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At Calle 55 we are not allowed to speak our native language for any reason. All communication is in Spanish. You can mime but anything other than Spanish is not recognized. Being restricted to the Spanish words you know leads to some very strange and entertaining substitutions. “I am married.” vs “I am tired.” or “I am pregnant.” vs “I am embarrassed.” I made that mistake in my class in Guanajuato and earned the nickname, “Santa Jilita.”DSC00511So poco a poco the journey continues. Two steps forward, one step back and eventually you are talking and laughing with the cab driver or the electrician who comes to fix the sockets. You converse without knowing the words for “fix” or “socket” and she gives you a hug and a kiss on the cheek as she leaves.

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9 Responses to “¿Hablo español?”

  1. Michael Rogers March 10, 2017 at 9:35 pm #

    Hola, Jilita,

    Michael, here. I was one of your classmates in Guanajuato. My wife, June, and I just returned from a month in Cuernavaca for more Spanish school. Glad to see you are continuing your Spanish language efforts (kudos to Dan for jumping in). The layers of the mystery of a new language begin to peel away if we but persist. Enjoyed your blog comments and pictures since we tend to miss far too many photo ops. How many more Mediterranean adventures do the two of you anticipate or is that always to open-ended? May you always enjoy your travels before returning to a welcoming home in our Land of Enchantment.

    • Jill March 11, 2017 at 12:16 am #

      Oh my gosh Michael! I am so pleased you are following our adventures. How was your Spanish school in Cuernavaca and the city itself. Would you recommend it? Did you like it as much as Guanajuato? I miss Juan Carlos and Edith. They were such great teachers. We’re considering Montevideo, Uruguay for next year. And once again, I willl study Spanish. My accent has greatly improved but the verb forms are so confusing. When I speak with native speakers I am sure I am mixing them up. But everyone is so patient in Mexico and so supportive of helping you through. I love it. Thanks for traveling with us.

  2. Barbara and Ernie Werren January 28, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

    I can relate – the joys and frustrations of learning another language! Am really hitting it hard now – an advanced class, meetup groups, etc. – to prepare for a trip to Cuba el uno marzo! Immersion Denver style! Then I hear that Cubans talk too fast, drop all their s’s and use many “cubanismos” that we won’t understand!

    • Jill January 28, 2016 at 9:46 pm #

      I have heard the same about Cubans. Hablan muy rapido. Have a great time on your trip. Research, volunteering or pleasure.

  3. Derek Simmons January 28, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

    Muy impresionante–(and I hope I didn’t just tell you that you were likely to be kidnapped into naval service.)

  4. Maryl Travis January 28, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

    Does the Spanish school also offer weekend tours, cooking classes, etc.? Good for Dana that he is giving Spanish a try. Their Spanish immersion philosophy will definitely help accelerate your progress. When I was in Spain, I had a friend tell me to throw away my Spanish dictionary and use only the words I did know. I became fluent very quickly.

    • Jill January 28, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

      Calle 55 is much more bare bones than Escuela Mexicana. No extracurricular activities. The use what you know approach really works. J

  5. Maryl Travis January 28, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

    Does the Spanish school offer weekend trips, cooking classes, etc. like in GTO? Having all the students speak only Spanish will certainly help accelerate your progress (that, and sign language when there is a word you don’t know). When I was living in Spain, someone told me to throw away my dictionary and use the words I did know. Within a short period of time, I was speaking fluently. Glad to see that Dana is giving Spanish a try.

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