https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoconutMermaid

Primer éxito en la conversación (....kind of lol)

My husband's cousin got married this weekend so we were out of town meeting all the new in-laws. The groom's sister and her partner have an 'au pair' from Costa Rica. When I asked her, "Hablas español?" Her face lit up, and she very excitedly said, "Si! De donde eres?" And I replied, "Uhh... actualmente, soy de Alabama. Estoy aprendiendo hablar español... o estoy tratando." We laughed and spent the better part of the next two days speaking in Spanglish. I would use as much Spanish as I could and I would help her remember English words, as she is still learning as well. (Though she's much more fluent in English than I am in Spanish!) We found ourselves laughing almost as much as we were talking, mostly about our pronunciation issues or me repeatedly saying, "Mas despacio! Por favor!"

Some surprising things that I learned though: **In Costa Rican Spanish, they very rarely use formal pronouns, etc. All of it is informal, like everyone is family, and I really liked that idea.

**We couldn’t come up with an exact word for ‘bucking’ when I was trying to explain my husband used to ride bucking broncs. Google told us ‘trozando’, but she said she didn’t think that was exactly right. She did also say that she didn’t spend much time around rodeos or horses though, so she could be wrong.

**There isn’t an equivalent for ‘brunch’ in Spanish. She said ‘break-lunch’ and I obviously was confused and said, “You mean a lunch break?” She looked confused too, and had to explain. We laughed and I gave her the real word. But she said in Spanish it’s just ‘desayunoalmuerzo’. She said, “Juntos rapido. That is how we say it,” and we had another good laugh about that.

It was such a fantastic experience, getting to practice with a native speaker and trying to train my ear to hear the words at breakneck speed. Hahaha! I almost didn't ask her, because I haven't had much practice speaking verbally. It's mostly been messaging with people online/through apps. I'm so glad I did though! Since then, I've been speaking more Spanish to my kids and thinking more in Spanish too. It was just more evidence that, as learners, we should seize every opportunity that presents itself!

September 25, 2018

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MermaidArtist

My inlaws speak Spanish and Italian as well as English and I've been around them for 7 years now and I can understand more English than I can speak myself. I'm trying though. This gave me hope!

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoconutMermaid

I definitely understand more Spanish than I can speak. Keep trying though! You'll get it. I always thought that Spanish was much easier than English, but many Spanish-speakers who are learning English say English is easier. So who knows? Haha!

(P.S. I like your name. ;-) )

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spiceyokooko

A very nice experience!

Spanish speakers leaning English will say that because English is easy to begin with. But it gets progressively more difficult the more you learn.

This is why you find a lot of intermediate English speakers looking for help to improve their English because around intermediate level they hit a bit of a brick wall.

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoconutMermaid

That makes sense. It seems the learners I am talking to are mostly around intermediate level. And the things they are struggling with are usually nuances... like saying, "Are you tired of it?" vs. "Are you tired from it?"

Or in another conversation I had, I was explaining how asking someone "How are you?" and "How are you feeling?" aren't quite the same thing. One is a general, "What's up/How's it going" while the other is usually used if you know someone hasn't been well, like after an illness or the loss of a loved one. The little things like that are hard to pick up unless you listen to a lot of English, like native speakers do.

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/diegovillanueve

¡Enhorabuena! ¿Cuánto tiempo llevas estudiando español? ¿Sólo has utilizado Duolingo?

September 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoconutMermaid

He estudiado de forma intermitente por años, pero he trato mucho más duro en el último año. Principalmente uso DuoLingo, pero también uso Bilingua y HelloTalk ahora....y, claro, google. Jaja

September 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Coudenn

Muy bonita experiencia. Escribes muy bien solo en este parrafo ten en cuenta que despues de "he" tratar se conjuga como "tratado". Por lo demas excelente.

September 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoconutMermaid

Gracias por la correccion. :-)

September 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chilotin

Super! I hope you keep learning and gaining confidence for speaking.

I'm surprised about pronouns. In popular culture, Costa Ricans and Colombian are regarded as the biggest fans of "usted" in informal contexts.

September 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoconutMermaid

Perhaps it has to do with different communities? I'm not sure.

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chilotin

Perhaps, or with age. Did she used "tú eres" or "vos sos"?

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoconutMermaid

"tu eres" usually.

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chilotin

Then, I guess it is age or a very particular social backgroud. "Tú" and its forms are generally avoided there and "usted" is common in informal situations.. http://www.ticotimes.net/2007/09/07/say-you-say-me-using-tu-vos-and-usted

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aguilera2112

Pues cuando quieras practicar tu español, cuenta conmigo. Yo estoy estudiando Inglés y apenas tengo 1 año, pero el speaking y el listening me han resultado un poco difícil; y el hecho de no tener con quien practicar, lo hace más duro (aparte de la edad y todas las actividades diarias que no te permiten dar el máximo). Así que comprendo que ha veces hablar o entender un idioma es complicado, pero sobretodo la pena de no hacerlo bien y terminen riendo de nosotros. Así que cuando quieras practicar tu habla, podemos verlo. No sé si la aplicación nos apoya para tener comunicación más directa con nativos o por seguridad no lo permite, apenas retome mi curso hoy y necesito ver las opciones del sitio. Un saludo y suerte a todos.

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoconutMermaid

No hay un medio para la comunicación directa aquí, pero un par de aplicaciones que he encontrado útiles son HelloTalk y Bilingua. Lo emparejan con hablantes nativos de su idioma de destino. HelloTalk también tiene notas de voz que ayudan a escuchar y hablar.

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChuckBurke

Es fantastico. Eso es exactamente cual de yo necesito mas. Aqui tiene un lingot.

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoconutMermaid

Gracias

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark267926

In Spain they do have "La merienda" not really brunch but more of a break for a snack, tea, supper or picnic if its en la playa o campo.

September 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoconutMermaid

That is good to know!

September 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/radpowers

Coconut, I saw your post about the joke. It was some time ago and I figured it was long enough you wouldn't see my post. I noticed this one and I just want to tell you that thousands of people see the conversations you have. Please don't give so much information about yourself. Your last name? Where you are located? Do not put yourself in harm's way. Stay anonymous. I enjoy your posts. Forgive me for my concern.

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoconutMermaid

Thanks for the concern. I know what you mean. I think about that sort of stuff before I post it. My last name is pretty common and my state is huge. There are some creeps in the world though...

September 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaisiBall

How do you learn that many languages and still deal with a daily lifestyle?

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoconutMermaid

Haha, I don't study them all every day. I haven't touched most of them in months, which is why they are all still such low levels. My primary focus is Spanish, but once you even dabble in a language, it's there forever. Like with Klingon, I would love to learn more, but without audio, the lessons are sooo difficult because you have to switch back and forth between the pronunciation guide and the lesson. That was just too much for me, so I'll probably wait until the audio is added to tackle that one.

September 28, 2018
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