Two days ago, I decided to try to learn the Spanish language.
Iwanski and I have had one of those Rosetta Stone Language CD’s for a little while now, so I finally decided to sit down and see what it’s all about.
I’ll tell you one thing, I am glad that I had two years of Spanish in high school. Otherwise, I’m wondering if I would be completely lost. You see, the Rosetta Stone software works by pretty quickly immersing you in the language. There are pictures and all that good stuff, but to me, it’s still all about basic memorization. And I haven’t had to work hard at memorizing anything for a long time.
I can only imagine how difficult it would be to learn Chinese or Arabic, which don’t even use the same alphabet as English.
Nevertheless, I have persisted for the past couple of days and now I know/remember the basic colors and numbers, as well as certain verbs like cantar (to sing), bailar (to dance), saltar (to jump), and beber (to drink). I also remembered the words perro and gato (dog and cat), and have learned that a bird is a pájaro.
The problem is that these are only a few of the massive number of words that I would have to learn to master the language. If I really want to learn this, I will have to actually work at it. There’s no software that will do that for me. (Damn!)
And to add to that, I keep getting confused between the words “to walk,” “to run,” and “to eat,” and “to fall.” They all start with the letter “c” (caminar, correr, comer, and caer), so I haven’t quite yet figured out the trick to keeping them straight in my head. And to add to that, a horse is “un caballo”—and there’s a surprising number of horses that show up in this software. So if you have the sentence “un caballo esta comiendo,” I have no freakin’ clue if the horse (at least I think it’s a horse) is walking, running, eating, or falling. Now, if you have the sentence “un caballo esta comiendo la zanahoria,” at least I know there’s a carrot involved—because zanahoria (a carrot) is at least one word that starts with something besides a c.
So I guess you can say I’ve got some work to do in the memorization department; it’s just not as easy as I thought it would be.
Hmm, I wonder if you can buy language CD’s that you listen to while you sleep, and somehow you magically learn the language by process of osmosis?
Oh, if only…and if only I weren’t so lazy, I could learn a whole new language!