Friday, November 15, 2013

Es la vida!

     I decided to learn Spanish on my 30th birthday.  I remember giving myself a decade goal: I will learn Spanish before I turn 40.  I guess I was being generous with myself to give myself 10 years to learn a language.  Five months later I invested in Rosetta Stone.  Two months later I went to Asia and forgot to restart upon my return.  Two years later I fell madly, crazily, once upon a time, forever and ever, you're the only one I'll ever love, in-love with a Spaniard.  I came home convicted: I had to learn Spanish.  I resumed Rosetta Stone and upon reaching anything beyond "manzana" (apple) or "hablo" (I speak) I was completely lost.  So I researched and everyone seemed to say, "The best way to learn is immersion."  So I went abroad.  Six weeks in an immersion program.
      I learned.  Slowly.  Very slowly.  I came home and enrolled in a college level Spanish class.  Three semesters later I was still learning.  Very slowly.  Is it this difficult for everyone when they learn a new language?  Am I especially stupid?  I find it very, very difficult.  I study, I watch Spanish TV, movies and listen to the radio.  I listen to Spanish music.  I email Spanish friends.  I talk on the phone with my Spanish relatives.  And yet...I just don't get it!  I understand words.  I understand phrases.  I understand you are speaking in past tense.  Future tense.  Present tense.  But what in the world do you mean?!?!  When will it all click?  Is there a magic moment when I'll just GET IT??  :o(
      Granted I can see progress.  I have definitely come a long way from "I speak" but I want to understand!  I want to converse!  I want to find meaning in what I hear and read, when I hear and read it.  Not five minutes later when I have translated half the words in my head and left the other half out!  I want Spanish to be to my mind what English is.  And, seriously, I begin to doubt that it is ever possible.  Of course I can't give up yet.  It has only been one year.  But I am discouraged.
       Many times during this lingual adventure, when I have come across an obstacle, I have thought that God is not necessarily asking me to learn Spanish.  Rather, He is asking me to try.  And as I continue to study, I will keep reminding Him that He is the one who created all these languages at the tower of Babel and with just a little help He can help me learn just one of them.

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