Friday, October 10, 2014

Spanish Lessons

This morning in our Spanish lesson, our teacher delved into irregular verbs and I geeked out. It's the truth. While I want to learn Spanish so that I can communicate clearly with people here, the reality is that when it comes to languages my true love is their structure. I'll blame it on four years of Latin in high school, then some Koine Greek in college, and four weeks of Russian in Ukraine in '93. Talk about languages with structure....

But Spanish has its verb conjugations, and I'm never satisfied unless I know them. One of my greatest frustrations in trying to speak Spanish is not knowing past and future tenses (let's not even get into past-perfect, etc.). I want to know them and I want to know them now! So yes, I was quite excited to get a long list of verbs today and a lesson in irregular verb groupings. I also learned the word for the root of a word: "raĆ­z". This made me very happy. It gives me hope that some year I won't have to puzzle out the strange sentences that Google Translate gives me when I type in sentences from school notes and the kids' textbooks.

Kraig and I meet with our teacher, Christina, every Tuesday and Friday morning over on the university campus. There were supposed to be four of us in the group, but due to circumstances Kraig and I ended up with personal instruction for which we are very thankful. Christina is fluent in English and Spanish, so she can translate things when we need her to. However she makes a point of primarily using Spanish in class, which is a style Kraig and I both like even though it makes it tougher to follow things. It's been good and stretching. And I grab my structure nuggets when they come, because most of the time we focus on practical conversation skills. 

Some days I can immerse myself in the class and get things easily. Other days I'm at sea and my brain is in a fog. This, I assume, is pretty normal. Sometimes I come away feeling like I learned a ton (like today) while other days I wonder if I'm ever going to get the hang of things. 

In the meantime, I shall press on and look forward to learning past and future tenses. Because, you know, in real life we use them.

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