Speaking Spanish

Montevideo Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 38 › view all entries

I know that I am supposed to write about exciting foreign things in my blog but my life right now is pretty dull. This is not to say I am having a bad time but rather that my days have settled into the easy monotany of school.
I wake up at 8 am, eat home-made granola for breakfast, walk the half block to school, attend Spanish class from 9-12 30, check my email, watch some television in Spanish, eat lunch, study until 7pm when I go back to class, have dinner, chat with Maria, and go to bed. Obviously, there are some small variations to this routine, today I will do laundry and I often walk around the city if I don´t feel too overwhelmed by the amount of material that I have to learn.
But no matter what I do I am haunted by Spanish verb tenses. Words continously conjugate in the back of my head. I woke up this morning with the verb tener(to have) running like a ticker tape through my subconscious. Yo tengo, tu tienes, el tiene, nosotros tenemos, ustedes tienen, ellos tienen, yo tengo, tu tienes, el tiene...
I have spent hours reciting and copying the different verbs and their tenses and learning multitudes of vocabulary. Despite my ever growing arsenal of words, the right words always evade me when I need them and the words that do come feel thick and coarse in my mouth. I don´t speak Spanish; I chew it with a limp tongue.
Everyday, I make small improvements but my teachers shake their heads and ask me in Spanish ¨Why are you only taking two weeks of Spanish? It is too little.¨
My fantasies of returning from South America as fluent as a native speaker may have been a little optimistic but I must not forget that I have made huge leaps and bounds. Three weeks ago the only Spanish I knew was ¨¿Donde esta la baño?¨and on Sunday I took a bus to Colonia, went to museums, ordered a meal, and went to a tourist office all without using a word of English.

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photo by: aliciaaa