Hopeless Spanish

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 13:53 (368 days ago) @ SweetSusy

I"m going to share my/our experiences in learning Spanish. It is still very much a work in progress.

We started traveling by vehicle in Mexico in 1983, starting with 2 weeks a year and quickly going up to 4-6 months a year. We both worked in the California school system with the non English speaking kids from Mexico, then into English Language Development. We thought we were pretty good with our Spanish from working with the kids and traveling. We could converse, discuss, find obscure vehicle parts and locations.

Then reality hit.

We started staying in Zihuatanejo for those 4 to 6 months a year, staying in our RV at the home of Rodrigo and Avelia Campos. They are both very well educated and have always taught and been involved in education. What a shock! Our Spanish was so technically poor that we were never able to complete a sentence without being corrected and explained why and how to correct it. This was a good thing, and we learned a lot. It ISN'T just about communicating, it's about communicating clearly and really learning the language, not muddling about.

We have now lived here full time for 18 months, and will be here forever. His language skills are very good and improving daily. Dealing with workers and contractors and buying their supplies has been very educational. He still uses Duolingo daily for at least 8 lessons.

Me? That's another story. I have decided that if I can't say it correctly, I won't say it at all. I'm working very hard with Duolingo, today makes a 140 day streak. I also look at as kind of a gift. I was always a motor mouth in English, and realize that I never will be in Spanish, so it's different. I have started forming the occasional sentence to use with the people doing work for us. It's working.

We both have our verb books next to our computers and use them constantly. Other than workers we find that we rarely talk to anyone other than each other in either language, so my lack of skills isn't too horribly apparent.

Is it important to speak Spanish here? Absolutely! Can you stumble by just by trying hard? Yes, but it's nice if you can do it correctly.

It sounds like you have what you need to be fluent in Spanish and just need to live here and use it. Your husband is right-once you are here full time you can relax and figure it out. Comprehension comes first, the last thing is the ability to speak. The people who live and work here are incredibly understanding and are good about speaking more slowly, using different words and simply asking you to repeat yourself so they can understand you better.

Either relax and continue trying or resign yourself to not talking to anyone!

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