Spanish is... best eaten as a taco? 🤔
On communication, on growth and tacos.
📺 Previously: Updates from the last month.
Dearest creatures big and small, we are now more than six months removed from that bleary-eyed morning of January 1 (2021) when I proposed to my wife...
that we switch our conversations entirely (enteramentemente... mente) from English to Spanish.
"Trust me," I said, "it will be fun."
"No," she replied, "it won't be. For me."
And, as always, she was right.
More on our state of marriage further down, but first, a quick rundown of all the works done in the past month.
🤓 Words, words, words permalink
Duo the búho, and I, are still at it. By "it," I mean that we still have a quick ' n ' dirty 20-minute session first thing in the morning. It's confusing, random, and unsatisfactory.
As a result, I currently possess 1021 Crowns, a 210-day streak, and 984 lingots (which ever since dressing up my búho in a champagne tracksuit haven't really been of use to me).
I'm about to finish level 8, and there (seem to be) only nine levels in total, so, fingers crossed, I can finish it all up by September.
Oh, did I forget to mention I'm going to keep studying Spanish? Yeah... Because Dao, the journey, you know?
Did you know? permalink
that búho is one of my least favorite words in Spanish. Also, almohada, which means pillow, but to me just sounds "wet" and "moist," all those things that pillows (ideally) shouldn't be. Seriously, who would want their face to be touched by a wet, cold, sticky, horrible almohada?
In other news permalink
and to help with context-filling, I've also started this huge Memrise deck of Advanced Spanish. It's fun because now I know how to say things like taxidermist (disecador), catapult/sling (tirachinas), and other useful words. I'm a great cocktail-party conversationalist!
False amigos permalink
Cooficial means official. Why, Spanish, why? 💔
📺 TV permalink
The only thing that I watched in Spanish this past month is the Netflix series Club de Cuervos. I know, I know, it's about football, which is just about the boringest thing one can watch; however, it's Mexican-made (mi gente), quick, funny, and easy to follow. I watched an entire season and then gave up - all the family back-stabbing was just too stressful to watch.
📚 Books permalink
I've finished the rest of the YA literature that I could find at home, mainly:
- El diario de Biloca
- El gato asesino se enamora
- Ma y Pa Dracula
Then I tried reading some of the serious books from my wife's side of the bookshelf, and I couldn't understand anything. First of all, there were no pictures, and secondly, my wife's taste in literature can be summarised as "big-words, no-periods." Actually, "big-words, no-periods, no-commas, and no dialogue". Just long, long sentences that end 13 pages later. In tears. Mine.
Anyway, I gave up and now I'm reading a boy-meets-girl rom-com in which this super successful 30-something woman is all confused, and shy, and Bambi-like and apparently knows nothing about anything (and especially nothing about herself). But! Fortunately, her Bambi-like cluelessness is super attractive to this dude 🙄🙄🙄 , and so all is well. She'll be saved, don't worry.
If anyone permalink
has a recommendation that falls between the above two genres, do let me know. 🙏
On reading in Spanish permalink
Something that I really like about reading in Spanish right now is that since I do understand some or even most of the words, but sometimes I am too lazy to get up and check the rest in the dictionary, I get to kind of choose what they mean instead - which can color things quite differently from the way the author intended.
For example, the word carcajear, in the context of she said something and he carcajear-ed. For the longest time, I thought that meant "to chuckle," like you know, me telling this brilliant joke and people politely chuckling along (because they are in our house, and we just served them food and fancy booze, and so they should!).
Anyway, so I finished this one book (prolly one of the Agatha Christies) and felt quite sad that nothing truly spectacularly funny was ever being said since no one ever managed to muster more than a chuckle. #sadLife
It turns out, however! that carcajear means full-on laughter, like guffaw, ha-ha-ha, holding my belly, about to fall off my chair laughing. This kind of makes me happy because people (women even) in that Agatha Christie book were indeed hilarious. I just didn't get it. 😳
🎧 Music & Podcasts permalink
This month I "discovered" a bunch of cool Latino music!
- First, another gem from Alt.Latino, Best of NPR Latino playlist (Spotify link).
- Then I found Nathy Peluso, who is awesome, and this resulted in me creating my first Spotify playlist of all Latin Grammy Best Alternative Songs (Spotify link).
Lastly, a new podcast that I'm currently listening to:
- De Pueblo Catolico y Gay - interviews with catholic Latino peeps, their coming out stories and how it is to live in a place where you are the only gay in the village.
Okay, so what's next? permalink
I think I'm just going to keep at it. Finish DuoLingo, then move on to spending more time in Memrise. Keep listening to Latino music and eventually tackle Valerie's mightly bookshelf.
Valerie has many movies that she wants to show me, and I have a bunch of Café Tacuba lyrics that I want to memorize.
I also bought The big red book of Spanish verbs - I'm hoping to go over it slowly so that by the time I'm an 80 something viejicita, I finally know how to use the future subjunctive.
I'll keep listening to Paco from Wisteria Lane during our lunch breaks and Ash & Letty from Se Regalan Dudas during the doggie walks.
I'll patiently read the Wikipedia articles in Spanish and keep choosing the wrong option every time my alarm clock asks me "to cancel" or "to snooze."
I'll keep talking to Valerie in Spanish even though some days we hate it and sometimes we even have arguments because I misunderstand her carcajadas. Because I think it made this covid life more fun, it made us closer, more patient and because, damn it, I managed to learn another language! 🏆
most importantly... I'll keep eating all the tacos.
- reading C2
- listening C1
- writing C1
- speaking C1