HÓLA, QUÉ TAL? | THE TROUBLES OF A SELF-PROCLAIMED SPANISH STUDENT

It’s not for nothing that one of Gran Canaria’s most famous beaches is called ‘The Englishman’s Beach’. (I’m talking Playa del Inglés here). The south of GC — as I have been starting to call it for short — is crowded with English and English-speaking people. However, the area is largely touristic, so the amount of English spoken by the Canarians themselves is very much limited to the accompanying vocabulary. Now try renting a house, or getting an internet connection, or mailing a postal package. Try living a normal life is what I’m getting at. Then the situation gets rather different. Countless times, I’ve found myself at a loss for words in conversations with un-poquito-de-Inglés Canarians. I mean, our cleaning lady speaks better English than my landlord does. And that shouldn’t be taken as a compliment on our cleaning lady’s behalf.

As it happens, I was probably the first in line when God handed out the study-, discipline-, and willingness-to-take-on-large-projects talents, and not far behind when it was time for language skills. So naturally, I was going to be learning Spanish in no time. Actually, now that I was thinking about it, how ridiculous is it that the boyfriend doesn’t even speak Spanish! (He lived in Alicante for two years.) I mean come on, he should be fluent in Spanish by now. Right? RIGHT?

Turns out, I was last in line when God handed out the studying-when-you’re-in-vacation-mode skills. As well as in the studying-before-knitting line. It’s been more than three months since I moved to GC and my Spanish still doesn’t go beyond the commonly used hóla (hello), the rather meaningless question qué tal? (wazzup?) and answer muy bien (very good), and the occasional dos cervezas por favor (two beers please). When I’m feeling really dare-devilly I may even claim that si, hablo un poco de español (yes, I speak a little Spanish). To then continue with the cervezas part to show the truth of that.

I’ve set up a ‘learning Spanish plan’, I’ve collected lists of Spanish words to learn by heart, downloaded Provoc to help me memorize them, bought Intertaal’s ‘Spaanse Grammatica. Kort en Bondig’. In short, there’s no lack of preparation. And there’s no shortage of willingness either. It’s just that I’ll probably have to admit to myself that I’m not thát disciplined when there are no deadlines. And that all I have to do, in fact, is get a real-life teacher.

I hope he speaks English though.

learning spanish

Me in vacation-mode in our backyard // Salobre Golf

3 Comments

  • juli 10, 2017 - 11:04 am | Permalink

    Ik zit een beetje met hetzelfde probleem! Dacht dit wel even ‘vanuit mezelf’ te leren, maar veel verder dan de standaard zinnetjes en woordjes op Duolingo kom ik helaas nog niet..

    • Merel
      juli 14, 2017 - 11:51 pm | Permalink

      Zo stom hè! Wel leuk trouwens dat jij ook Spaans wil leren? Of heb je het over een andere taal?

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