I’m not an asshole. Not a complete asshole, at least. I would never move somewhere and expect the locals to adhere to understanding my foreign tongue. I cannot stand Americans who travel and speak English s-l-o-w-e-r and LOUDER. I need to learn Spanish. I figure no matter what happens, Spanish is useful. Plus, they say becoming bilingual expands your worldview.
When I visited Baja in April it seemed it would have been close to impossible to get around without at least a conversational mastery of the language. I was reliant on my man with a van guide. His name is Jed. I was reliant on Jed, and I feel like, without him there I would have had a lot of trouble. I am really not into leaning on other people, especially to communicate. That debt… $100k of it is for my fancy NYU Communications degree. It’d be a real fucking head hanger if I didn’t pride myself in interpersonal connections, after all that.
I signed up for a 10 week Beginner’s Spanish class at Berges Institute in NYC with an $89 Groupon. That doesn’t start until June 22nd. To supplement for now, I bought Benny Lewis’ Language Hacking Spanish. That came in the mail yesterday and I read 3-pages this morning. For the last week I have been using this app, Duolingo, which is free and pretty awesome. This is what I can say so far:
Yo cocino pescado
Tu eres un perro
Nosotros no comemos una naranja
The important stuff. I’m kinda proud though. I’ve enlisted my coworker Laura, who grew up in the Dominican Republic, to let me speak really poor Spanish to her. She’s correcting my pronunciations.
I studied French all through high school and some college. I can barely speak French. But if I try really hard, really hard, and practice A LOT, yo hablo español (I don’t quite know how to say ‘I can speak Spanish’).