One of my more practical fears about the future is that in 82 days, I will be in a country that does not speak English.
I have been studying and practicing Spanish essentially every day since January 1, and I feel like I have more or less mastered saying Hola. Sometimes I think that maybe I know more than I realize because I can read something in Spanish and understand it.
Then our Spanish teacher will ask me an extremely basic question –Te gustaría sentarte afuera o adentro para la clase?– and I can almost hear my brain grinding to a halt.
I am pretty sure I will not be able to speak Spanish at all, but perhaps I will suddenly launch into conversation. Unfortunately, it’ll realistically be somewhere painfully between those.
I know what I need more than more study and more class time is to be thrown to the piranhas. I’ve simply got to be forced into speaking it. That force is coming.
The children have been picking it up a little, but we have not been trying that much with them. Steph and I have lately been enjoying having short conversations in front of the children without them catching on.
For example, yesterday:
Steph –¿Quieres llevar a Danés contigo?–
Shawn –No, no puedo o no quiero. Él es enfermo.–
Dane piped up and said, “Hey, I’m Danés! You’re talking about me!” So we can’t hide everything.
Later on the way to town I was going over the exchange in my head, and I realized I’d slandered Dane by using ser when I should have used estar, so I sent Steph a message correcting it. At least I caught my own mistake!
I think I will try to write a paragraph in Spanish each day over the next little while just to practice. It may not be helpful to you, but it’ll be good practice for me.
Creo que trataré de escribir un párrafo en español cada día durante el siguiente tiempo, solo para practicar. Puede que no sea útil para usted, pero será una buena práctica para mí.
I will not put my first tries in. I will only put in my corrected versions–or mostly corrected. Sigh…