Estudiando espanol

In preparation for our trip to Central America next month, I’ve been seeking out resources for conversational Spanish. I’ve been spending time on, which has great basic lessons on grammar, and I’ve been downloading and listening to podcasts from Radio Lingua Network, which has a program called Coffee Break Spanish – 20-minute lessons great for my drive home from work or the treadmill. The only roadblock to Coffee Break Spanish is that the hosts have Irish accents, which confuse me at times! But I love their intro song, which includes the line “Mas cerveza, por favor! Cafecito, I want more!” I’m going out on a limb here, but I don’t think beer would help my speaking skills. :)

Studying Spanish grammar has made me realize how much I’ve forgotten (or perhaps didn’t know in the first place) English grammar. If you were to ask me what the present perfect tense or imperfect tense is, you’d get a blank stare and a shrug. My friend Melanie, on the other hand, can rattle off definitions of those tenses at the drop of a hat. But then she is an English teacher, so we expect that from her! Mel also told me about a site called where people can schedule “meet-ups” to discuss common interests. I know it sounds sketchy, but my friend and I went to a conversational Spanish meet-up a couple weeks ago (at a bar on Capitol Hill no less) and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Well… to be honest, my Spanish-speaking level was just below being able to converse with most other people there, but it gave me a great guideline of what I need to work on and how much I actually know. I thought that most attendees would be from Spanish-speaking countries or perhaps students, but plenty of nationalities were represented – I spoke (marginally) with a French girl and a Ukranian man, as well as a guy from Mexico and an American girl who now teaches Spanish. I want to go back soon – necesito practicar! (I need to practice!)

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