I just got out of my Spanish class and I’m waiting for Scott to come from his class. It was our first day in separate classes so I’m interested to hear how it went for him. I’m doing a review of last week and I must say it’s muy bueno ! My decision to review last weeks lesson has been the right thing for me. The pace last week was just too fast for me. Not only have I never learned another language, I haven’t even been in a classroom in over thirty years! Soooooo here I go UNO MAS time!
I really felt good about my lesson today. Nooooo, I’m not quite fluent yet, but I’m having a good time learning a tiny bit each day. I’m also enjoying getting to know some interesting new people , which to me is a win win!! Last week our class included myself, Scott and one other student named Jordan . This week Jordan an me are joined by two new students . One young lady is studying Spanish here as a requirement for her degree, she’s staying in a hostel in town for two weeks. The other young lady is a 17 year old who is here doing a home-stay all by herself for five weeks. We’ll call her Angelica. I was very impressed by this 17 year old! She flew from Virginia to Miami then into Panama City and finally into David. After all these flights she caught a public bus up here to Boquete where she is now staying with a local family while she study’s spanish for the next five weeks. Pretty impressive for such a young girl!
Scott’s new class is much more of a challenge for him which I think he will like. Although I suspect there will be much more studying going on around here now. As long as we manage to balance studying with equal amounts of relaxing and having fun , all will be well for these two adventurers. Poco a poco and day by day we live we love and most importantly we laugh and enjoy each passing day… Cheers!
Here’s an advantage you have over those who study here in the States: you are living among Spanish speaking people.
Now, no using the computer…that’s cheating. And you’ve never said if you bought Spanish dictionaries. El diccionario es muy importante. 🙂 Poco a poco!
I second that on the dictionary. Mine is always with me.
I didn’t realize you have never learned another language. Good luck to you. And just take your time. You have plenty of it 🙂 And try to practice with Scott (it’s tough though…Ray and I have yet to crack open our review books this summer!) at home. My daughter spent five weeks in Spain earning credits two summers ago. She is fluent in Spanish, and we are too lazy to practice with her either! She speaks Spanish so beautifully. I hate to stumble along. (And in Panama, they speak SO FAST and have a totally different annunciation at times. Plus, they say “ciao” and not “hola”! Sheesh!) Have fun–just another part of your adventure!
Don’t let the language thing get you down. Remember, like I do, you’ll NEVER get FLUENT in the language. But you don’t have to. What you need to do is get PROFICIENT in it. For instance, today I had to go buy insurance for my motorcycle. Nobody at the office spoke English. (Hey, why should they? The language here is Spanish, after all.) I was in and out in less than half an hour, 20 minutes of which was waiting for the policy to be printed.
Stop worrying about making mistakes when you speak. YOU’RE the one trying to communicate and if the Panamanian has trouble understanding you it’s THEIR FAULT for not trying to figure out what you want to say. One thing that’s difficult for newbies to do is to avoid other English speakers whenever possible. They’re a trap! I understand the comfort level they provide since this is the third foreign country I’ve lived in. You have a spousal unit, so you can’t avoid gringos easily, but how about insisting that you spend part of each day talking to each other in Spanish? I don’t mean for a sentence or two, but for an hour a day. There used to be a group of us gringos that used to get together once a week for an hour to talk Spanish. I miss that, but some moved back north and some were snowbirds. What a shame. I really like Kris and Joel and would like to meet with them some more, so my rule about spending time with other gringos does have its limits.
The thing that’s helped Kris and myself with our Spanish is that we live surrounded by Panamanians. None of my neighbors speak English. Oh, they all know some words, but they can’t string them together to make a sentence. So it’s been up to ME to adapt, and isn’t that part of the adventure we came here to have?
I really appreciate all the encouragement I can get! I have been trying to relax and its kinda working, I’m letting myself learn at my own verrrry slllooww pace . There’s really no hurry, right? I do look forward to making Panamanian friends! You know , living up here in Boquete makes it a bit harder to practice speaking spanish but as soon as we have a bit more vocabulary we will start practicing together. It’ll come eventually I think the important thing is our desire to learn and our commitment to , like you said , becoming proficient. Poco a Poco! Cheers!