Central Park XelaTwo hours a day of private Spanish lessons, an hour of homework and total immersion.  I wish I could say it was easy learning a third language, but it’s not.  With new words, false cognates and conjugation that removes the need for pronouns I find myself making many many silly mistakes.  A common example is “¿Cómo estás?”(How are you?) to which I should reply “Estoy bien, gracias.”(I’m well, thank you) but instead I find myself saying “Estás bien, gracias.”(You’re fine, thanks.)

One story that my teacher told me about was a girl who was learning Spanish in a home-stay and said something that the family didn’t understand to which she tried to reply that she was embarrassed by telling the family “Estoy embarazada”(I’m pregnant) and the family got all excited and asked “¿Quién es el padre?”(Who is the father?) to which she got confused and pointed at the father of the home-stay.  Note to women who stay at home-stays to learn Spanish: don’t go around telling people that you are embarazada.

True to it’s reputation, alcohol is a great little addition to the language learning mix.  With drinks costing about $9 for a half liter bottle of rum or vodka at the bar, plus a dollar for enough mixer to serve an entire table it is easy to engage some strangers in broken conversation.  I’m not sure the extent to which it helps, but I do find I am able to follow better and quicker the more times I try this and saying things that are foolish is certainly not a problem.  That said, I rarely seem to be able to remember new words from these nights out.

If you have any good language learning tips for me, please do share, I want to make the most of my time here.

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4 Responses to “Learning Spanish In Quetzaltenango”

  1. danielle dobson Says:

    hay, my dad LOVES mexico and gose there alot… in a year. so if you facebook him he would most deffinetly share his knolage.

  2. Kyle Jones Says:

    Mexico is an awesome place, thank you for the suggestion!

  3. Lyndsey Tankersley Says:

    Ohh nice post though really??

  4. Kyle Says:

    Hi Lyndsey,
    More or less. The fact is now, a few months later I still understand better then I ever did before, and I can speak in basic sentences that aren’t rehearsed out of any book and I nearly always can get my point across in enough detail that I feel confident that they understood what the sentence would have been if I could just get that darned real time conjugation of verbs thing handled. It really bugs some of the local travelers here who have been coming for years and barely speak tourist Spanish let alone their own sentences.

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