Uno Momento, Por Favor

According to a goal and a deadline I set for myself five years ago, I’m supposed to be speaking fairly decent Spanish by now, and all I can do is count to ten, ask where the bathroom is, say thank you and ask you your name.    I can also tell people “I am fine thank you,”  but if I’m not fine I can’t tell a soul unless they speak English. That is about all I can remember from my 7th grade Spanish class, … oh … that and “just a minute, please”.  

Lynn and I went to Costa Rica when our son and daughter in law got married (she’s from there).   Yeimy  (pronounced Jamie) has such a great family that we all hit it off really well … we just couldn’t understand each other talk.   So when Ryan or Yeimy weren’t around to interpret we used a lot of pantomiming and talked really slow and loud like we were hard of hearing instead of un-lingual (is there a word for that?)     I always thought I was good at pantomiming, I mean I got a perfect score at the State competition in High School, but I almost got myself into trouble trying to explain to Yeimy’s grandmother that I felt bad for her because Yeimy would be moving so far away after they were married, and I knew the Grandma was going to miss her a lot.    You try pantomiming that.     She was smiling and nodded like she understood what I was saying but the next day Ryan asked me what I’d told Yeimy’s grandmother because she had told everyone I was very unhappy that they were getting married.      

I don’t know how people who speak Spanish their whole lives can even understand each other anyway.   They talk 90 miles an hour … literally … until they speed up when they get excited.   I can’t tell where one word ends and another starts.   I can’t even pick a word I know out of a sentence!   I didn’t think people could listen that fast!    It’s like speed talking.

I bought a good computer program to teach me Spanish before I ever met Yeimy.    I mean this is a real good program that talks to you and everything … but I have procrastinated using it for over 5 years.   For all I know they have changed all their words around by now.      I’ve considered taking a class at the college … but … (place any excuse here).    I think I  I am just a big chicken about the whole thing.    It sounds too hard and too fast … way too many things to memorize … and I am an old dog with a memory problem.   I can’t even speak English half the time because of I can’t pull up the correct noun.    People, places and things … they just hide out in the closets of my head and can’t be coaxed out until they are good and ready.   How will I ever pull out a noun in Spanish?  

Wow, this blogging is good therapy.    I’m glad I got that figured out.   It always helps to know the root of your procrastination … it makes it a lot easier to rationalize about it.     I’m not ready to give up … how can I give up when I haven’t even started?     Comprende?  

4 Responses to “Uno Momento, Por Favor”

  1. Same here!
    It’s tough to learn another language unless you are totally submersed. I did the Spanish computer program, an adult ed class, flash cards and I still didn’t learn much.
    I tried French too. I was more successful because we got off the beaten path and communicated with people who were very uncomfortable with their English, so we helped each other.
    We probably seem to speak ninety miles an hour too!
    Oh yeah! The not finding the right word in English?
    We have made a pact at our house that we will use whatever word (or phrase) is on the tip of our tongue no matter how wrong it is! Makes for funny conversation.

  2. I know you know a few more words …. taco / enchilada / salsa /burrito …. I’ve been out to Taco Time with you and mom before.

  3. My husband is taking his second session of Spanish. He says they put lots of words together and make them one word, and that’s one of the things that makes it so confusing. But whatever you know is more than I know. I admire you for trying to take on another language.

  4. Hola Mami,
    Como habias dicho que ibas a empezar a estudiar el Espanol hace 5 a~os, ya deberias de poder entender este mensajito que escribo. Si no lo entiendes, pues…ponte las pilas! Bueno, te quiero mucho, cuidate y te mando un gran beso.
    Ciao!
    Ry :P