All 5 entries tagged Spanish

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November 07, 2005


It's been really nice this last few months to actually relax a bit at home. So much of the last year has been spent doing DIY on the house that I've barely had time to relax at weekends and in the evenings.

My recent Spanish experiment took a bit of a setback with me quiting my actual Spanish lessons…but I have done some Spanish pretty much every day in the last week or two so I am keeping that up.

Of course my original distraction from back in the new year was Maggie and still is, bless her. Mornings (walks), lunctimes (visits) and evenings (walks) all mean spending time with the little monster and we are all that much happier for having to do so! :)

My birthday yesterday has seen a new hobby arrive. Guitar. I've wanted to be able to play guitar since I was but a teenager (a scarey number of years ago now) and now that Steph has bought me my first acoustic guitar, I have at long last started. Having only played a bit yesterday and a bit tonight, I'm certainly still an absolute beginner and 3 fingers on my left hand hurt like hell from pushing down strings…but I think I'm going to love it.

If anyone out there has any little hints for a first time guitar player then please let me know. But with a bit of luck my "Guitar for dummies" book should sort me out.

October 25, 2005

Lack of progress

Follow-up to Spanish – Absolute Beginners – Week 3 from Kieran's blog

Well, one more half Spanish lesson last night. I say half lesson because during the break after the first hour I left :(

In a really quite disappointing moment for myself, feeling stupid and so frustrated with the course that I just went home after the first half. It turns out I'm just not suited to the course. Half the time we were just trying to read out or repeat stuff the teacher was saying, but with 15 people all trying to say it at the same time, I couldn't hear myself think. Not being a natural at languages, I was a second or two behind people half the time and by the time I tried saying stuff, everyone else was already saying it :(
Also, it just moves far too quickly, not giving us a chance to write things down or think about it before moving onto other things.

So, in conclusion I think I might have quit…I'll see how I feel next week. I'm certainly not going to give up trying to learn Spanish though, I've got my software which is pretty good and I may well get a better book (the course book is crap).

October 23, 2005

Spanish – Absolute Beginners – Week 3

Follow-up to Spanish – Absolute Beginners – Week 2 from Kieran's blog

A bit of a late write up this week, but I thought I should keep on tracking my progress.

Again I felt the class went far too quickly really. The tutor spent all of about 5 minutes on pronunciation of the alphabet without even giving us a chance to write stuff down.

In theory we now know all about numbers up to 100, including things like how to say phone numbers and credit card numbers.

We also did quite a bit on ordering food and saying what you do and don't like.

In a fit of frustration on Tuesday night I went and got myself some software to help me learn some more Spanish between lessons. On Wednesday I took it back again and swapped it for something else :)

First lot, AA Essential Spanish Deluxe is a pile of pants. It pretends to be a new release, out in July 2005, but it is actually repackaged 4 year old software that looks more like 10 year old with its awful interfaces and bad speech recognition. But most importantly it just wasn't suited to the beginner.

The second lot, Learn to Speak Spanish was much better. It is still fairly old software (3 years old I think), but it was so much better. The interfaces are still a bit old fashioned, but it is far better at guiding you through as a beginner.

Hopefully I am now a bit better prepared for tomorrow :)

October 12, 2005

Spanish – Absolute Beginners – Week 2

Follow-up to Spanish – Absolute Beginners from Kieran's blog

We moved forward again this week at quite a pace. I swear, if I was able to keep up and was any good at this language lark, this course could make me fluent by the end.

?como estas?
muy bien gracias.

?estas casado?
No. Estoy prometido.

We learnt a bit more about the fem/masc nouns, very similar to French (from what I can remember), but easier to work out generally.

Un hermano (brother, ends in an o)
Una hermana (sister, ends in an a)

El estudiante (student, ends in an e)
Los estudiantes (students, add an s)

La cama (boy, ends in an a)
Las camas (boys, add an s)

In 98% of cases it is as simple as that.


?Cual es tu profession?
?En que tiabajas?

Soy programado.

It goes on…
Days of the week
Counting up to 100
Ordering drinks…

I really don't think I can absorb and memorise this much every week :(

October 03, 2005

Spanish – Absolute Beginners

Writing about web page

Se llama Kieran. Es de Inglaterra. (My name is Kieran. I am from England.)

Yup, that's me, an absolute beginner at learning Spanish.

I finally got my arse in gear to start learning Spanish after being frustrated at not knowing barely a word whilst on holiday in recent years. It's easy as anything to take up a language at Warwick because of the Warwick Learning Account making the course free for me and any other student or staff member.

The first lesson was fairly easy I guess, but I certainly found it harder than some (and hopefully easier than others). I can tell that I'm going to struggle in the coming weeks and months seeing as I've not done any kind of language learning since my bad attempt at scraping through GCSE French 11/12 years or so ago.

By the end of the first lesson, in theory we know quite a bit already, but it won't stick without a good bit of homework and plenty of work on my awful accent!

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