¿Cómo se dice “You want to practice Spanish”?

Quieres practicar español.

Just like many skills, it’s important to practice speaking a language regularly.

rebecca-first-day-of-school
My first day of class for 6th grade; the days of preppy clothes.

I have been taking Spanish classes since I was in 6th grade. I went to a middle school in Greer, SC that had a great curriculum for advanced students. I had no idea when I started the class what an impact that it would make on my life.  I can still here the class reciting verb tenses over and over.. Tengo, Tienes, Tiene, Tenemos, Tenéis, Tienen…

To keep up with my Spanish over the years, I have tried many things.

My current favorite apps.

duolingosmash-spanish

Duolingo – I have used this for about a year now and my Peace Corps language trainer has asked that we use it to prepare for our training in Peru. It has a variety of activities including a review of how you actually say words and sentences.

Spanish Smash- This is a fun game that requires a little dexterity. I can’t tell you how many times I have practiced the vegetables as I still seem to forget cucumber (pepino), eggplant (berenjena) and celery (apio).

Spanish Classes and Meetups

I have taken classes over the years at various schools- NC State,  UT and Austin Community College (ACC).  I had a good teacher at ACC this past Fall and recommend their classes if you want just a weekly class.

There are a wide variety of language schools and several meetups focused on conversation in Austin; however, I wasn’t able to fit that into my schedule. I know I’ll look to meetup groups when I get back to continue to converse in Spanish on a regular basis.

 

 TV Shows and Films.

I think everyone has a friend that learned Spanish through telenovelas and I have to say that it helped me.  Two shows that I enjoyed watching are The Grand Hotel and Velvet.

For me, Spanish film is all about Pedro Almodóvar, I think his films introduced me to Foreign films as he came to fame in the US while I was entering college.

Books

I hit the used book stores and thrift stores regularly to find children’s books in Spanish. The simple sentences help me to practice and  to attempt to memorize common phrases. I found a math book a few months ago that I have used to learn new words.   At times it is hard to believe that I was able to read books by Cervantes, Gustavo Adolfo BécquerJosé Zorrilla, and Federico García Lorca.  I am looking forward to reading some novels from Peruvian authors and perhaps going back to some of the authors from years past.

20120824_190443
Fabyan Windmill, Geneva, IL. (Built 1850s)

A favorite passage from the ever famous “Don Quixote”:

“Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is nobel, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth.”
“What giants?” Asked Sancho Panza.
“The ones you can see over there,” answered his master, “with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long.”
“Now look, your grace,” said Sancho, “what you see over there aren’t giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone.”
“Obviously,” replied Don Quijote, “you don’t know much about adventures.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
 …la ventura va guiando nuestras cosas mejor de lo que acertáramos a desear; porque ves allí, amigo Sancho Panza, donde se descubren treinta o poco más desaforados gigantes con quien pienso hacer batalla, y quitarles a todos las vidas, con cuyos despojos comenzaremos a enriquecer: que esta es buena guerra, y es gran servicio de Dios quitar tan mala simiente de sobre la faz de la tierra. ¿Qué gigantes? dijo Sancho Panza. Aquellos que allí ves, respondió su amo, de los brazos largos, que los suelen tener algunos de casi dos leguas. Mire vuestra merced, respondió Sancho, que aquellos que allí se parecen no son gigantes, sino molinos de viento, y lo que en ellos parecen brazos son las aspas, que volteadas del viento hacen andar la piedra del molino. Bien parece, respondió Don Quijote, que no estás cursado en esto de las aventuras;
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