Since mid-October I’ve been learning Spanish, mostly while I drive my car. I’m using the Pimsleur Method, of which I highly approve. I can now speak Spanish far better than I could after taking three quarters at Emory.
I can speak, but not read or write it very well. That’ll come later. They don’t want me doing that yet.
The Pimsleur Method is based on the recognition that most people on the planet who’ve learned a language, i.e., children, learn to speak it pretty dang well before they can read anything. They learn by speaking and hearing, a little bit at a time, and figure out on their own verb tenses and conjugations.
I spend about 45 minutes a day speaking and hearing Spanish. What I’ve learned is mostly tourista Spanish. We talk about making reservations, ordering food, make small talk about the weather and people’s families.
After finishing the first 86 of 120 lessons, I can now order Mexican food and converse with my servers in Spanish about it. I can make small talk with lovely senoritas at the bar. That goes something like this:
Me: Vienes aqui con frequencia?* (Do you come here often)
And the senorita generally says something which in context sounds something like, “I think you’re a creepy old man.” (There seems to be intercultural consensus on this point.)
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