What have I achieved, you might ask? A good solid basis on which to improve my Spanish. Yes, after a year and a quarter I'm no where near fluent, nor do I think I ever hope to be, but I can get by. Sure, I mess up on conjugations, forget to use (or overuse) subjunctive and I could use a serious increase to my vocabulary, but what I do know seems to be useful. Case in point, we wanted to get some frosted window coating to cover half our master bathroom window, just for a bit of privacy. So we started checking all the little hardware tiendas in our neighbourhood, then we checked the plastic sellers (yes, there is such a thing here-they provide to-go containers, straws, plastic shopping bags etc.) but we weren't brave enough to go in and ask about a "cosa" (that means thing - we didn't know how to begin to describe what we were looking for) for our "ventana" (window).
|Kind of apt, no?|
|How I felt for the first 6 months or so...|
Needless to say we left with a sheet of lamina helado and a plastic scraper to smooth out the bubbles. Success!
Here's the thing you need to know, or at least this is my experience...I'm usually so wrapped up in trying to think about how to say a thing, and deconstructing once the words are uttered that I normally miss whatever the response is, or only catch the tail end of it. I'm hoping this is normal. I also spend a lot of time after thinking about ways I could have said things better, after the fact. I just wish that my conclusions would stick in my brain and offer themselves up readily during the next challenge, but alas this is not the case.
|Si, hablo espanol!|
I know enough to know I'm not saying things correctly, but unpracticed enough not to be able to correct everything right away...sometimes it comes to me an hour later, but bless the Ecuadorians, they are patient and don't even cringe as I butcher their language. They're the first to tell me that my Spanish is very good (they mean for a "gringa") and while I don't believe them entirely, it's still nice to hear.
So, thank you Ana-Luisa (of Coffee Club Spanish firstname.lastname@example.org) for your patience, guidance and humour...I'm sorry I can't be the star pupil that leaves your class with fully functioning Spanish, but I know more than I did a year and a bit ago, which I'll have to be satisfied with for now.