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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Yogic Pratice of Learning Spanish

I found it interesting that as I've advanced through my Spanish lessons that my classes have gotten smaller and smaller. The administrator of our course basically said that most people just want to be able to talk to a cabbie or hair dresser and that's good enough for them. This is a concept that I can understand, but refuse to settle for.

I've been studying a tense called subjunctive, which we don't have in English. It's the mood of the heart, what we wish, hope, doubt etc. which is a lovely sentiment and really, it's not that hard to put in to practice, but subjunctive has four different tenses, add to this the standard tenses (present, past (Spanish has two basic variations), future, conditional, and the compound tenses that form all the perfect tenses) you have yourself a mess of options to choose from every time you open your mouth.

This brings me to the yoga part. In yoga practice you learn very quickly that some days are amazing; you're flexible, your breathing is focusing your postures and you come away feeling taller and awesome. Then there are the other days; you know the ones, you feel stiff and awkward, you seem to have forgotten that breathing is actually a natural act and the new person in class makes like a pretzel and you feel like a failure. So goes the experience of practicing Spanish. (I assume any other language as well.)

Today wasn't the best day. It's bizarre to understand things in theory and fail to execute them in reality, but it happens. So I have a choice, accept my limitations today and not worry about how amazing my classmates are or beat myself to a pulp, crippling my self-esteem even further. The choice seems pretty obvious and I'm working on acceptance.

I've only been studying Spanish (in a dedicated manner) for around a year, so given the theory that it takes 4 years to learn a language, I should only be about 25% there, right? At least I can have a half decent conversation, if given some context. So for now, I'll be okay with where I'm at and leave the poetry and heavy prose for the year 2018.

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