Monday, January 25, 2010
I finally found Spanish class that speaks the same language I do. And by that, I mean that there's a teacher speaking Spanish and a student 'answering' in English. My version of Spanish (or Castellano) is a half-in, half-out sort of deal. I'm not willing to commit to speaking completely in this god-forsaken language but I'll throw out what I know to complete a sentence...as in "Gimme another glass of cerveza, por favor."
So, when Bueno, entonces asked me to review their language videos I was delighted to see someone with a similar attitude struggling along! Honestly, it is helpful and I am learning but mostly it just makes me feel good about myself to know that I'm not the only loser in Argentina (no offense, David). Plus, Jimena speaks so articulately that I feel like maybe I do understand Spanish when I watch these videos.
To find the series helpful, I think you do need somewhat of a background in Spanish. My background is having started Spanish classes several times at a variety of institutions. (I can't tell you how well I know the vocabulary for school supplies.) Going through the first week of classes, I've been reminded of some of the basics and now we're pilling stuff on top. Useful stuff, like 'Don't bust my balls' and 'I'm useless.' I was hoping that I could just watch and remember most of the new phrases - and I did for some, like the proper time to use 'dale' - but by the third lesson I started taking notes. It provides an opportunity for learning alongside a little sarcasm (the best medicine). And I'm learning all kinds of inappropriate vocabulary and phrases that I wouldn't be able to ask my Spanish tutor about (without blushing). I also love that David doesn't hold back with his frustrations about Spanish - ahhh, thank you, it IS a sexist language!
Anyway, as I said, I've watched a week's worth of Bueno, entonces... - 6 classes. I've been having trouble finding time to watch an entire 35-40 minute episode every day so it may take me a little longer but I think a little extra time is great to actually practice using what I learn. The real test will be to see if I get a better handle on the past tenses from these videos.
I'm really excited to finish the series and it's nice to have some control over learning (meaning I can wear pjs and I don't have to go to class and be nice if I'm in a bad mood, etc). A lot of people seem to like it for their iPods and I would definitely have watched it while on the subway in NYC but I'm afraid I'll get mugged if I try to do something like that in public here. I just watch in the comfort (and safety) of my home - usually while eating breakfast or ice cream.
Bueno, entonces... also has a Spanish grammar blog and teaches daily Spanish phrases on Facebook.