Someone and I are learning Spanish.

Last week when it was formally decided we will go to Mexico in February, we got out the Rosetta Stone and gave it a whirl.  We were told knowing how to speak Spanish in Puerto Vallarta isn’t really necessary, but we figured it wouldn’t hurt to learn. I hope our efforts are at least appreciated by the locals. Knowing Spanish is an asset anyway, living in Arizona as we do.

This is actually our second attempt at Espanol. We bought the CDs when we went to Costa Rica a few years ago. We got fairly decent. Alas, I got terribly sick on the trip and speaking Spanish became conditioned and equivocated with throwing up, not unlike Little Alex in “A Clockwork Orange” upon hearing Ludvig Van. I soon forgot everything I learned except ‘Aviso! Kanguros! “ and “Aviso! Vacas!”, two expressions of delight which didn’t come in handy nowadays.

So far I know a few nouns, the numbers, the days of the week, and a few verbs, such as  running, reading, dancing, and jumping. It is rather like a puzzle game.  I like The Rosetta Stone approach: it does not make me memorize useless things such as

“Alas, The Madonna does not function”

or even

“I will not buy this record, it is scratched.”  

I have three months to go – is it possible to learn enough to converse with ‘those important types’ viz. a taxi driver, a salesclerk, a waiter, and (most important) a bartender?

Learning Spanish is proving difficult.  Perhaps I am too old to learn the lingo. Perhaps my English/German/Dutch genetics simply can’t wrap itself around a Romance language. Another challenge: should I concentrate on understanding what is being said or what I can say?  What I repeat back to the Rosetta Stone narrators sounds more like gibberish than Spanish.

What I really want is a Babel Fish, but no such luck.

Perhaps it would be better to memorize some questions so “Juan” gets my intent and subsequently points me to what I want through mime and interpretative dance.  Some statements worth learning:
“What sort of tequila do you have?”
“How much for a massage?”

“Do you have this in fuchsia?”

“Do you want to go back to my place, bouncy, bouncy?”

and

“You can die with your secrets you miserable piss elegant fairy”

I will keep you posted.
Viel SpaB !!

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