Thursday, August 23, 2007

Missed Opportunities to Learn


At my job I talk to people in Mexico everyday. Most of them speak English very well. I have started asking them how they learned it so that maybe I can use the techniques in reverse. One fellow who almost sounds like a native English speaker went to high school in Washington State. Ah, forced immersion. I do like that method. When I was in Europe I had to learn that way and I learned a lot. I had to or else I probably would have starved or been lost permanently.

The other person I asked said that only English TV shows were available when he was little. So he watched Sesame Street and then older shows like The Brady Bunch and Who's the Boss. I tried some "groovy" Brady Bunch lingo on him but he didn't remember it that well.

I have about 6 Spanish channels. Plus the people that I talk to in Mexico are very eager to help me. In a recent phone call I asked, "What do I say when I answer the phone? Mande? He said, No, you say "Bueno". Good thing I asked. I saw someone answer the phone with "Mande". I guess she was just playing around. If I am really committed to learning the language I can use those free resources: TV and the Spanish speakers I know. It is something I have always wanted to learn. Now I just have to stick with it and practice, practice, practice.

4 comments:

Maine Mama said...

I went to an American High School on a military base in Germany. I took Germany language classes the whole time. Despite that, most of what I learned came from watching German TV and speaking with the locals.

Daizy said...

I love German. I wish it was practical where I live but no. I took German classes when I was in Austria but I always seemed to travel to non-German speaking countries. Good thing I'm good at charades.

Carolyn said...

Mande means "talk to me" or "tell me what you want" so you can say that too. It's kind of casual, though. I picked up some fun Spanish by hanging out in Z Pizza Lido and listening to Luis talk to his staff and to me in Spanish. He says, "Mande?" if he doesn't hear you right the first time.

Daizy said...

I guess he was trying to teach me proper phone etiquette. In the Mexico plant they say Mande all the time to each other. When they say Mande, our engineer says Tuesday and they say What??? He thinks that is hilarious.