Friday, January 3, 2014

Hola! (I'm learning Spanish!)

Greetings Kind Reader - so glad you dropped by. I promise - I am not shirking my resolve to follow through with my resolutions. I told myself that I wanted to post at least 3 times a week here at When a Southern Woman Rambles and by gosh - I'm doing it. (Okay so technically this is only my 2nd post since the New Year - I'm feeling really confident about my chances of posting later on this week so I can hit the 'magic 3'.

Alright so it's not exactly 'magic' but I've been AWOL from my blog so long, I think getting back into the groove that I once had with WASWR about a year and a half ago...or was it 2 years?...will need to be a slow and steady one.

Now, about that Hola! Yes, I really am trying to learn Spanish using the Rosetta Stone program that I got...last year. And no, I've not waited a whole year to get to it - I had actually been working on it quite diligently when I got it and continued to do so for about 6 months. Then life got really busy and the 30 minutes I would carve out every other day to work on it got pushed aside for other 'important' things. And when I decided to jump back into the 'learning pool' again, the program made me go back and do all these annoying reviews.

Yes, I do understand why it wanted me to do the reviews - as most people forget most of what they learned after a couple of months. (And this I know to be true because I did use to teach...I have a Masters Degree specifically IN teaching History so I do have a pretty good grasp of the concept of the need for review.) But I'm sort of weird, I suppose. I didn't forget as much the Rosetta Stone people assume I probably lost because I have a knack for remembering things like the word for woman (mujer) or the word for work (trabajar) because I have this goofy associative system for remembering things that I'm 'supposed' to remember.

My problem lies in the fact that I speak English and I used to be pretty darn fluent in French (seriously, I remember waking up in college and not remembering how to speak in English because I had been dreaming in French - now THAT is a weird sensation!) so invariably, as I'm learning these Spanish terms, I find myself doing the WEIRDEST thing. I see (or hear) the word in Spanish, I translate it into English, then - especially if I have to answer a question about what the word is - I don't immediately think of the nifty Spanish term I learned - nope, I find myself getting stuck on words that are very similar in French. For example: to work in Spanish is trabajar and to work in French is travailler.

They're really similar so I have to think 'is this the Spanish word or is it the French word?' Then I start over thinking the concept in English and before long - I feel like 'Me', 'Myself', and 'I' need to hire translators from the United Nations to help me say something like 'The woman works at the gas station."  Incidentally, that's la femme travaille à la station d'essence in French and it's la mujer trabaja en la gasolinera in Spanish.

See how easy it can be to get tripped up on the word 'work'? So, instead of the Rosetta Stone course being 'so super easy' I find it rather annoying because instead of simply having to train my brain to recognize phrases in Spanish - translate them into English - think of a reply in English - translate that into Spanish then actually say it...I have to worry about the Pepe le Peu factor! Ugh.

But I'm not going to give up. Nope. I will be able to trudge through a basic conversation... one day. Just not today!

So, I'm off to get in a few more rounds of 'Let's really mess with the old mind!' HA!

By the way, I think I had mentioned that I was close to getting my tour business 'Flying Bookworm Tours (Virtual Book Tours)' up and running in my last post (no - this isn't a point where you can go 'see, your memory isn't that good - that's not the sort of thing my brain picks up as 'this is important - must not forget it - must put it in long term memory'). And I'm still planning on a midJanuary launch so - wish me luck.

Oh, and did I tell you all that one of the books I helped edit was published AND I'm actually mentioned in the acknowledgements for my contribution? (Ok, so if I did - it might see like I'm bragging and well, gosh dang it, I am bragging!) The book is from The MacDara Chronicles by Judy Colella and the title for this particular installment is 'Overcomer'. It's a great story and I'm really happy to have been a part of it.

Alright now, I've got to run. I hope you've had a wonderful first few days of 2014.

That's all I've got - til next time!