Learning Spanish, 2010

school-For me, learning Spanish is hard. Listening, speaking, reading and writing all help. But I find too much at one time is overwhelming and frustrating. Like a plant being watered, I can only absorb so much at a time.

IBL, the Spanish school I attended in Buenos Aires, focuses on grammar. After studying several different forms of the past tense including irregular verbs, I found it difficult to keep them all straight, especially in conversation.

Argentine Spanish and, more specifically, porteño or Buenos Aires Spanish is different from Latin American (and Spanish) Spanish. It uses unique conjugations for the affirmative and second person singular–as well as various idioms, expressions, and word meanings. But for me, the real problem is the influence of Italian and the fluidity of the speech. The syllables and words all run together in a way that left me struggling to decipher the individual words.

School was difficult emotionally. It was hard to get a sentence out without being interrupted and corrected by the teacher for grammar, vocabulary and/or pronunciation. It is a tough prescription, but I think time and a little bit of study on a more frequent basis (daily) is the key.

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