Spanish Sundays – Número Seis
In fact I have only read a couple of additional pages since we last spoke. I am actually taking a step back and shelving Paco for a bit. It seems that I bit off more than I could chew with the adventures of the boy and girl.
To help me along with my new take on Spanish our friends let us use their, more age appropriate (language age that is), book – “My first 1,000 Words in Spanish”. Along with the words are cute accompanying cartoon pictures.
It may take me the better part of a pentad but I will get it done.
Actual studying aside, the most constant reinforcer of my Spanish lessons is my daily hike. Many times just saying hi to a Tico results in me learning something. That is how I learned the word Caminar – to walk – as multiple people say it to me as I walk by.
The other day I was hiking back up our road, el Cajon, from my hike and a car stops and the driver asks “Iglesia de El Cajon?” I am sure there was more to the question but that was all I heard. In fact, I didn’t even HEAR that. Let me explain.
A couple of weeks before, when walking, a lady was walking and asked what the name of the road was and I told her El Cajon. So when the man in the car pulled up I knew I was going to be put on the spot and so I put my mind in Spanish gear and when he asked the question I immediately remembered the person asking what the name of our street was. So, naturally I answered:
Si, El Cajon. Aqui.
The man, patient man, asked again slowly and this time I heard iglesia – church – and knew where to direct him, not HOW to direct him, mind you. So after some pantomime and stammering and stuttering in Spanish I was able to communicate where he needed to go.
There is a big difference in knowing a word and having that word on tap – to be able to use it when speaking. So this conversation, if one could call it that, had me running home and relearning the ups and downs of Spanish…directions. Here are the basics:
todo recto – Straight On
la derecha – The Right (the opposite of left as opposed to You are Right)
la izquierda – The Left
arriba – Up(wards)
abajo – Down(wards)
So, some new words for me to practice. It really is kind of cool when you attempt, even with very limited Spanish, to communicate with a native speaker in their language, that they show patience and gratitude that you are trying. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I always had the same patience in the States with people who were learning English. I like to keep that in mind, now that the hiking boot is on the other foot.
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In addition to writing on this blog, Greg has written for other online publications and has written two popular books about living in Costa Rica:
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