Why you don´t have to speak perfect Spanish
In the short period of time that I have been associated with Expats, I have heard on several occasions that Spanish lessons are an investment in many homes. Of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting to learn, but I´m just not sure that flashcards and conjugations are the way to go. Let me explain why…
Throughout my education, I have seen my classmates attempt to learn English exactly this way; conjugations, verbs, pronouns, past participles, present perfect and all kinds of further nonsense that I cannot even fathom, which is probably the same way that you are trying to learn Spanish, but to be honest, they don´t even make sense to you either, do they?
I want to let all of you out there know that if you can get your point across no one will laugh at you, nor will they judge you, because most of these people have been in the same position as you are, but backwards; trying to speak to someone who only speaks English and finding themselves standing there with their foot in their mouth wondering what was just said and trying to find the past participle of the sentence you just mentioned in order to come up with a semi-correct way of answering to “So, how have you been?”
Indeed, my friends, you are not alone by any means in the foreign language department, and for no reason need to feel awkward for getting “el, la, -a, -o” or any kind of Spanish words perfect, because even if you don´t notice, people understand you are not from here and appreciate the fact that you are trying to communicate with them and are not expecting people to speak to you in English; because most people here don’t feel comfortable with speaking in another language either. Just know that getting your point across is more than plenty, and people will thank you for that.
You see, the only real way of learning a language is sinking or swimming, getting out of your comfort zone and going to places where only Spanish is spoken and not taking your English speaking friends, or if you do, make something fun out of it and make whoever speaks English first pay for drinks for the whole group. Let yourself have fun while at it, don´t just sit inside and read your textbooks. Read a novel, even if you don´t understand most of it, listen to music, look up the words that you don´t understand and try using them in a sentence. Maybe even find a favorite word, one you enjoy saying, like a dear friend of mine that loves saying “estacionamiento”. Play loteria, don´t just use it as decoration. Try to speak the least amount of English at home for a day, and enjoy yourself.
As always, I have to give a bit of a disclaimer, as I am not trying to make anyone angry, but to encourage you to go out there and feel confident enough to speak to people in as good or bad Spanish as you may possess.
Have a great new year and don´t forget to make Spanish, or even Spanglish a positive thing, have fun with it!
My name is Marina and I am currently a student. Reading, writing and photography are some of my many passions, as are music, universal history and animals. I live in Merida and I aspire to travel the World sometime in the near future. And who knows? I may even write about it.
Want to write me? I am open to comments, emails, tweets or whatever you would like to send the editor.
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