Monday, January 18, 2016

Learning Spanish

I studied French in middle and high schools. Then once I got to college, I switched to studying Spanish. The result was that I knew neither language well. For instance, I would know a word in one language but not the other.

Case in point: I studied abroad the summer before my senior year of college in Spain, Morocco, Egypt, and Italy. While in Spain, some of my friends and I went to a local grocery store to buy sandwich meat, cheese, and bread. All I could think was "fromage." Fromage is cheese. But in French! For the life of me I could not remember the word "queso." And everybody knows queso is cheese, even people who haven't studied Spanish.

Well, when I was hospitalized in 2013, I was highly manic. Somehow I became fluent in Spanish. The Spanish that I learned in college combined with working one-on-one for a few days with my Spanish-speaking roommate worked a miracle. A symptom of mania is pressured speech (aka talking really fast), combine my pressured speech with the Spanish and I sounded like a native. One of the hospital techs thought I was Latina!

However, once the mania subsided so too did my Spanish-speaking ability. Three years later and I'm doing something to reclaim my lost fluency. In November, I enrolled in a 10-week beginner course that I found a $79 Groupon for. (Yay for Groupon!) The class meets in Manhattan once per week for 90 minutes. I'm nearly done with the course. I take the exam this Tuesday to see how much I mastered from Level 1. But I know I'll pass. I feel pretty confident about the basics of Spanish. So I already went ahead and registered for Level 2, for another 10-week course. It starts next week.

Yo quiero hablar espanol. I want to speak Spanish.

Give me time, and I will be fluent again.