Yes, I have found myself saying it, saying that Spanish sucks; even in my lessons when I noticed how many action words (verbos) and different endings (conjugaciones) we need to know to make it perfect. But this column is not about perfection it is not about grammar or rules. It´s about how español works and the way it is (and remember this: It is what it is). It is NOT about grammar nor exercises…
And I think (and I hope you do too) it’s interesting and useful in order to present some ideas on how to handle, understand, enjoy, and learn some español………..And as you can read, it is in inglés.
Before continuing let me introduce myself and this column: I call myself OS, I teach español around here and I named this column “SPANISH SUCKS” because everything I am gonna tell you will be 99% (noventa y nueve por ciento) true according to my background or the point I want to express.
It doesn’t mean it has to be 100% correcto according to someone else`s opinion or to the Spanish language itself with all its exceptions and irregularities.
My advice: don’t worry about that 1% that doesn´t follow the general rules that we’ll read here. Exceptions and irregularities are in every language except Esperanto (a spoken constructed international language). So learn, take some lessons, practice, and keep trying to make yourself understandable. ¡Exactness doesn´t matter!
Spanish sucks (we talked about that), sometimes it does sound like one long word, everything is too fast; you’re right. Well, it is what it is so don’t panic, relax, smile and for today I’ll give you 5 (cinco) tips to try:
- Focus on the message. Listen for the key words and how they’re expressed. ¿Are they asking or telling you something? Avoid translating each word. Concentrate in the main idea only.
- Use your hands and face. Express yourself by pointing, moving, and touching things. Make faces. Be as expressive as you can. Don’t give up.
- Say: Más despacio por favor. /Mahs des-pah´-syo por fah-bo´r/ which means: “More slow per favor” (slower please). Or say: ¿Cómo? /Ko´moh/ meaning: “¿How?” (¿how’s that?).
- Listen for the English. Since both idiomas have some Latin bases, many Spanish words sound a lot like English. ¡Guess and you’ll probably be right! Be careful with embarazada.
- Relax and try again. Swallow your pride and remember that we (Spanish speakers) are having as much problemas as you are. Chill out, believe in yourself, and español will begin to make sense.
Besides those tips you can improve your Spanish by reading a book in English about how to learn some español, one of my favorites is “Spanish for Gringos”. Or join a language school or hire a tutor, one of my favorites is “Myself”. And if you don’t want to spend a nickel just go onto websites, one of my favorites is a guy from Florida that calls himself “Señor Jordan”.
¡So, you can’t make any excuses for not learning!
OS is a certified, experienced and native Spanish teacher and you can contact him and correct his English or improve your español at this e-mail: [email protected]
Your comments are welcome.