I’m 18 sessions into Spanish classes, and I’m kind of ready to be done. At least for now. It’s a lot of work, and it’s so easy to get behind.
I’ve wanted to learn basic Spanish for years now. In April, I knew “hola,” “aqua” and some foods. But I finally got serious on my friend Rachael’s recommendation. She took French at FluentCity, a not-for-credit language school in the city. I love the classes. FluentCity has a practical approach to teaching. You learn essential phrases (I need to, may I, I want to …) and fill it in with the vocabulary applicable to your situation. It’s so different from how I learned French in high school.
But it’s also so frustrating. It’s hard to tell a story in class – we all have to share cultural experiences – without sounding like a kindergartener. “Tengo un amigo que se llama Carlos.” (I have a friend called Carlos.)
One week we played store. The teacher was the imaginary shop owner, and we were to point out what we want. “I want that hat. No not this one, that one over there.”
My teacher addressed this one week. “Learning a language as an adult is one of the bravest things I think you can do,” she said.
She explained that it’s difficult to lose your vocabulary. You are a professional with a career, but in Spanish class, all you can muster is, “Me gustan las galletas “Vivo en Nueva York.” (I like cookies and I live in New York.)
I’ve learned a lot in these 20 weeks. I just have other things vying for my attention right now, so I’m going to take a little break. But if you want to learn a language as an adult, I say get brave, sister! You’ve got this.