Me and the Spanish Language
‘Acasă TV’, the tv channel which taught me Latin American Spanish, I used to spend hours watching soap operas with my grandma. I was barely able to read, but I watched movies.
As the years went by, I realised that I am an auditory learner. All those melodramas really helped me. Whenever I use Spanish, various words come to my mind out of nowhere. That’s mind-blowing! It feels great but, also, a bit strange. So, thank you, grandma, for introducing me to ‘Angel rebelde’ (Spanish series) and not only (this is all I remember right now).
Erasmus+ offers us online linguistic support (OLS), so I started using it. First, I had to take a test in order to be aware of my level. I got an A2, therefore it was a great start.
Obviously, learning a language online is different from going outside and trying to speak it with the locals. Nevertheless, I tried both of the options, and to be honest, I enjoyed the second one.
At first, I didn’t know the numbers. Of course, a soap opera is not about numbers, so I skipped this part. Nobody starts counting from 1 to 10, even so, I knew how to count from 1 to 3 (Un, dos, tres, un pasito pa lante, Mariaaa, from Ricky Martin’s song). Regarding days of the week, they’re quite similar to the Romanian version. But the numbers, ioii, I had to learn the numbers.
Whenever I went to the supermarket I paid with a 20 euro banknote, even though my receipt was only 1.35 euro. After a while, I started looking for the display which showed the price and compared it with the number from my head (the one that I heard from the cashier). And this exercise was quite good. There were moments when I couldn’t see the price, so I did my best to decode the number that they said. I definitely felt a bit embarrassed, in the beginning, but got out of those situations with a clumsy smile.
The next level was to go and understand what people say in an open market. And so I did, and look at me now: after 6 months I get rid of the smallest cent paying the exact amount of money.
In a short time after settling in Spain, I made a good friend, and we used to meet often and talk about different things. I was improving my Spanish a lot during that time, especially, because he was also correcting me. We spoke only Spanish and when I couldn’t express myself, I used a bit of English, but I tried not to give in. Unfortunately, he moved out of my town, but we keep in touch.
I was talking a lot using the present tense. I remembered some words from my movies and had a hunch about some past forms, but I didn’t know any rules. Therefore, it was time for me to learn the past and future tenses. Oh, what a happy day it was. I spoke using only the past and the future the following days. Of course, there are many exceptions, and you have to memorize the roots of the verbs and the terminations, but this is something which comes with time and practice.
I am happy with my level of Spanish which continues to improve day by day. I can now watch movies with Spanish subtitles and understand what they are all about.
We should never stop learning and improving ourselves.