Thursday, June 5, 2014

Relearning Spanish

As of yesterday, I was suddenly overcome with the desire to brush up my Spanish (i.e. relearn it). I learned Spanish during my mission to San Antonio, Texas, but I never really got an opportunity to be completely immersed in it. I shouldn't complain, after all, I was able to serve in an area where I did get to practice my Spanish, and my mission was rife with opportunity to speak the language. I am grateful for those opportunities.

I have used Spanish pretty consistently since then. When I worked at a gas station/farm store after my mission, I often was called to talk to people in Spanish and figure out what they needed. My Spanish is less than adequate, but I was always able to figure out what they wanted and with the Spanish I knew (plus gestures), I was able to help them understand our response to their questions and assist them with what they wanted.

After all, they never taught us how to say pheasant on my mission. ;)

On our honeymoon, one of the places we visited was Cozumel, Mexico. The people there really liked me because I spoke to them in their own language. They gave us some incredible deals and were very helpful. I think they were surprised that I was trying. I guess most tourists don't do that.

Now that we live in Utah, I get to use my Spanish occasionally as well. We have free public transportation here, and often when I use the bus I get to sit by people who only speak Spanish and talk to them.

However, my greatest struggle with Spanish is the grammar. I never learned it really well, and though I know quite a few words, I often confuse people with my incorrect placement of words.

We kind of want to raise Kevin to be bilingual. However, if we're going to do that, I need to start speaking it more and correctly. My dad speaks Spanish really well, and four out of the ten kids have served Spanish-speaking missions. I have opportunities to practice that I need to take. The hard thing is fear. I like talking to native Spanish speakers, because they are always so nice about it. Even though I know they're nice, it's pleasant to hear that my Spanish is wonderful.

However, in order to improve it, I need to talk to people who will criticize my Spanish and help me know when I'm saying things wrong. I'm also working on reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish. I've heard that helps, and it's true. As I started this morning, I was surprised to find the knowledge coming back to me rather quickly. I was able to comprehend what I was reading after only a few minutes.

That was encouraging.

Maybe my Spanish isn't as bad as I thought, but at any rate, there is room for improvement.

Maybe I have too many goals.

On another note, I finished animating the next Dragon and the Wolf, and I've started adding sounds to the animation. I don't think I'm going to finish it by tonight though. You'll have to watch it when we get back!


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