I am really making progress! (Tell me about yours!)
What's up folks!
I am extremely passionate about learning to speak Spanish at this point in my life. I am part Puerto Rican, and have a very Hispanic part of the family, to say the least. Coquito is served around Christmas time, we have people in the family that only speak Spanish, etc. However I somehow allowed myself to get too distanced from my culture. (I was put into foster care at a young age so I couldn't learn along with my siblings.)
Anyway, I am now using DL to get the basics down. I have mentioned in posts before I pick up Spanish quite easily (I had been hearing Spanish for many years, just not paying attention to it or attempting to learn it.)
Now I am doing much better with pronouncing words properly, my grammar is improving, as well as the amount of words I can comprehend and use in conversation.
This excites me quite a bit. Building on these Spanish skills has helped me a lot... As a Puerto Rican I'd like to be able to comprehend all of my family members, regardless of if they are speaking English or Spanish.
A lot of PR people who are in the later generations have let go of their PR culture.. So I am attempting to take that back through at least learning my language. I have yet to lose motivation, and It's been awhile! So things are looking good.. I just keep inching along, and it feels great!
I'd love to hear about the progress you guys are making as well! (So drop a comment below!)
My Spanish background is similar to yours in some ways - I have a large branch of Cuban family who pretty much raised me, so I grew up speaking English and Spanish, but having not spoken it regularly for about 25 years, my vocabulary and some of my grammar has gone to seed. I have Spanish on the back burner right now though, because I'm so very excited to finally be making some appreciable progress in Irish after 20 years of off and on efforts!
A friend who's a native Irish speaker called last night and I was able to answer the phone in Irish, have a conversation with her in Irish that was more than five minutes long, and was not about the weather, the football, the gaelic football, or the hurling (which were the only topics I could discuss previously, since most of my practice with native/advanced Irish speakers prior to this was at the pub. :D ) It wasn't perfect, and I didn't expect it to be, but man, it felt good!
Once I finish my Irish tree and get all of that solid, I'm going to revisit Spanish and shock the shoes off my tío by calling him and doing the same thing.
Good luck with your Spanish studies. :)
Many younger generations let go of their parents' culture for many reasons. If you're not familiar with this book, you may be interested in reading Ismeralda Santiago's When I was Puerto Rican / Cuando Era Puertorriqueña. Santiago translated the English version into Spanish and she also narrates the Spanish audio version. I recently discovered that many Latino authors don't often translate their books but that's understandable.
Inching along. That's what it is all about. I'm currently using telenovelas to improve my Spanish. I'm really happy that I'm understanding a lot of the dialogue without Spanish subtitles. I forced myself to get rid of English subtitles. Overall comprehension will take a while but it is worth the effort because I remember where I was last year.
¡Hola! Mi padre es Dominicano y mi madre es Americana. Cuando yo era un bebé, mi padre no me enseñó español. Mi abuelo no habló inglés. Cuando yo tenía 8 años, mi abuelo murió. No lo conoce muy bien porque no pude comunicar con él. Cuando tenía 11 años, yo decidí que yo aprendería español. Ahora tengo 13 años y yo hablo mucho español y puedo comunicar con mi abuela. Mi abuela me amo y le amo. Y estoy feliz que finalmente puedo hablar español. :)
I have just started learning spanish this past weekend. I have been studying German for the last 2.5 years which I think has gone a long ways towards preparing me. This is not the first time I have attempted spanish but I feel much more confident than before now that I have some familiarity with gender, conjugation and etc. Language learning doesn't happen over night so inching along we all shall do. :)
That's really great! I too have recently seen my Spanish improving. I can't speak it in conversation but I can pronounce words correctly and understand bits and pieces of what my parents are saying. I am Mexican and Spanish but I failed to learn spanish from my fluent mother and father because I grew up in a very Caucasian town so she never felt the need to teach me. But whenever I go to my grandparents, they and the rest of my family converse in spanish and I feel left out and ashamed because I don't know it. Another opportunity came up where it is vital that I speak spanish so I am working towards becoming somewhat fluent!!! Good luck to you!!!
I come from a Spanish speaking family on my mom's side, and I am Colombian/Mexican. I got taken away from my mom at a young age so I couldn't really learn the language so that is what I am using DL for. I want to keep the culture in my life and the language so I can talk to my siblings and family in Mexico. I started DL 2 days ago and I just have a few questions and some words that confuse me.
Unfortunately, I didn't really care for learning another language when I was in high school and most of my undergraduate years. My biological family is Jamaican, so I was never really exposed to a lot of Spanish until my dad remarried to my Dominican step mom, whose entire family seems to only know how to speak Spanish (I'm exaggerating). For at least three months, I have been still going strong, but I'm not easily learning Spanish, at least compared to those whose comments I've read in this post. I have noticed I can read and write it much better than before. Spoken conversations, on the other hand, is a struggle to say the least. My typical phrases in conversation include "¿Perdón?" or "Lo siento". I may add "¿Qué dijiste? Por favor habla despacio." to my list of phrases whenever the other person speaks too fast for me.
My grandmother on my father's side is Mexican, my grandfather on my father's side is Hispanic, my grandfather on my mother's side is 1/2 Puerto-Rican and 1/2 French, and my great-grandmother on my mother's side was a Cherokee princess; so I am very attached to my heritage. Even though, if people ask me what nationality I am, I always say that I am American, I still like learning about my parents', grandparents', and great-grandparents' culture. For this reason, I am learning Spanish and French on Duolingo. I think, since I grew up with grandparents who spoke constantly in Castellian Spanish and always sang traditional folk songs from Mexico and Spain, I did not have much of a chance to forget my heritage. In fact, at Christmas-time we always sang Feliz-Navidad and lit the traditional Mexican candles on my grandparents' Christmas tree. I share your love of your heritage, and I hope that learning Spanish will make you feel closer to your family's past. :}
I am the same way! I use to only speak it when I was younger and we were living in Venezuela. But we had to move suddenly when I was 5 and therefore I had to be taught English at a very fast rate. Because of that I have lost most of my ability to read, speak, or write- only understanding most. But now I am picking up more and more everyday. Mu husband found it for me to use everyday, and being a busy mom with 2 kids, I couldn't have thought of a better way to learn a language on the move! The next stop German :)
My wife and I adopted a beautiful girl (now 6 years old) who is half Puerto Rican and half African American. She takes Spanish in school but I want to converse with her at home.
My mother is from Lebanon and I always felt like something was missing that I never learned Arabic so I am going to make sure that my daughter has that opportunity to learn Spanish.
Language is one of the deepest connections we share as human beings. It is often over looked because it is seen as a means to an end. FYI, if you wanted go deeper and learn at the same time start cooking the traditional dishes of the culture who's language you are learning. It is a great way to have fun with food and learn vocabulary. I also listen to Spanish radio while I am driving to see if I can pick up what they are talking about. Very challenging because of how fast they speak, but I find it is worth the effort so I can hear conversations.
I welcome any other ideas to help a 6 year old talk to her dad in Spanish.