Hola! Adios!

I don’t think I got the “language” gene. I concluded there must be one when I realized I didn’t have it. Nothing about speaking another language seems easy or even possible most days. Like playing piano. I endured years of lessons for that skill too. Must be a related gene.

Yes, my high school offered languages: Latin and French. I tried them both, two years each. “Et cum spiritu tuo” and “bon voyage” are my remnants from those classes. I made one more effort to take “adult beginners French” in my 20’s because I thought that would be cool but same results. Tres bien not.

I thought my language-learning days were over…until about ten years ago when my Colombian-born son-in-law entered my life. Well, not at first, his English is just fine. I thought about trying to learn Spanish but didn’t get around to it. I sort of knew how to count to ten from our Sesame Street years but rarely needed to use that skill.

Until we went to Colombia in 2015. My zip-a-dee-doo-dah Espanol was apparent to all. I decided to make more of an effort, but I didn’t. Now we’re going back.

This time, I have a private tutor, my granddaughter. She is quite fluent for her three plus years and always very patient with me. “How do you say____ in Spanish?” and she always knows. How is it so easy for kids?

To add to my training, in case she’s taking a siesta or something, I downloaded “Duo Lingo,” a free app which makes it easy and fun to pick up a few phrases. I now know I am a mujer who come manzanas (woman who eats apples.)  That will get me far! I do get the pronouns mixed up though and most other words for that matter. Ayuda!

I am confident, that my “so wonderful to see you” hug will be interpreted just fine when we see relatives. Gracias works well in most situations. Some statements need no words.

I’m hoping to get to 8% soon.

Do you have the language gene?

Hope for the best,


6 Responses to “Hola! Adios!”

  1. 1 Russ Steponic March 2, 2018 at 8:42 AM

    I do have the language gene…and it still takes a lot of work. I remember research indicating you need 10 hours a week in a language just to maintain your level. You need 20 hours a week if you want to improve.

    When I was first learning Arabic, I tracked my hours each week in listening, reading, flashcard vocab review, and speaking to make sure I was at 20 or 30 hours each week. (This was before all the cool apps and resources on the internet.) It made ALL the difference for me in becoming fluent in Arabic.

    I haven’t been as diligent with Spanish, and I’m still limping along at “functional”…

  2. 3 trishambrose78 March 2, 2018 at 9:13 AM

    Amusing post! They’ll know your love – the language that matters most!

  3. 5 charles6c March 4, 2018 at 7:56 PM

    Good luck learning Spanish Letitia! 🙂 I’m learning Spanish as well and it takes a lot of commitment but it can be done! Having someone who you are able to practice with is a great help 😀

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