I’m off on Saturday to spend two weeks in Cuba. In anticipation of this trip, I’ve been trying to resurrect my moribund Spanish. This hasn’t been as straightforward as I had hoped. Ideally, I wanted to take a course with a teacher, but unfortunately I couldn’t really find one that was appropriate, because I’m a tricky customer. I spent the first 20 years of my life an hour away from Spain, I studied Spanish for 8 years, up to degree level, and in some respects my knowledge is quite advanced: throw a verb at me, any verb, regular or irregular, and I’ll conjugate it in any tense you like. However, I am unable to say to any salsa partner I may have accidentally maimed “I’m sorry, would you like me to call you an ambulance?”. When I came to England, I concentrated so much on perfecting my English that my Spanish fell by the wayside, and my Spanish vocabulary has shrunk to the bare minimum. My days of reading Luis Sepúlveda in the text are way behind me.
So I thought I’d use the wonderful Internet to brush up on my skills. I found a couple of great podcasts and I have been reading Google España noticias and bilingual blogs, particularly Pilar’s (thank you Pilar!). It really helped me familiarise myself anew with the language and although I probably won’t be able to have lengthy conversations on what it’s like to live under El Comandante, I’m hoping I’ll be able to at least basically communicate with the people I’ll be meeting. I have also decided that it’s time to actually study it regularly, otherwise I might lose whatever’s left, and so in the new year, I’ll be treating myself to a Puerta del Sol subscription and I’ll spend an hour a week studying it.
So it’s time for me to go and buy some suncream and flip-flops and to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year. Comments on all entries will be closed on Friday to annoy the spammers.
¡Hasta luego!