Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dominick Learning Spanish Part I - How My Study Time Quadrupled In One Night

Hello everybody,

So this is the first, in what I hope will be an interesting series here on my blog. While not my main reason for being here, one of my many objectives is to learn Spanish. As any of you who have learned another language know, this is a long and arduous journey. Full of many ups and downs, skirmishes and battles, victories and defeats. But above all else, deeply satisfying, and humorous to look back on. Therefore i hope you enjoy this series...

I dedicate this particular chapter to Amanda Wozny. For all of those times you told me how it takes you 3 hours to study your Watchtower, and then I made fun of you...and tried to get you do to it faster so you could come to soccer...

Part I - How My Study Time Quadrupled In One Night

So a few days ago I decided that despite believing that I was trying hard to learn Spanish while living here, I wasnt making enough progress. So I decided to up my game one step at a time and see how it goes.

When i first came here, I was so overloaded with things, that to save space i left out whatever I thought I would be able to get here. In my mind it all seemed so right..." Its an English hall, they will have all of the books in English there for me. So I dont need to bring my "Follower" book, I will just get one there". Now this completely ignores everything I had previously experienced here with regard to procuring literature. So needless to say, for the last 2 months, I have been using someone else's English book, while they used their Spanish one. (Thanks Abby)

Since I was so sick and tired of waiting for new books to get shipped to us (From Brazil), I decided to go and get a book in Spanish, and that from now on, I was going to study for the Congregation Bible Study in Spanish. I figured this would give me the chance to learn some new words, and force me to spend time each day studying.

So tonight was my first night of studying in Spanish. And to be honest I really thought it was going to go a lot faster than it did. I seem to remember that when I had a Spanish Watchtower back home that i understood a lot of it. And so it goes, that I do understand a good deal of written Spanish. But that doesnt mean that I understand all of it.

My first delay came almost right away, when after about 10 min of frustratingly trying to find the LL section in the only Spanish dictionary I have in my apartment, I became so upset that I threw the stupid book across the room, and resolved to try this another night. Only once it hit the floor and closed, did i notice that this "Stupid" dictionary that was lacking a whole letter, was a English to Portuguese dictionary (Left over from my trip to Brazil).

After resigning to myself that "at least no one saw that" I got my computer and started using an online dictionary (funny how wrong that thought was, it took almost no time at all for me to start writing this post). Now here comes the part that was quite humbling. I managed to get through only 6 paragraphs,  in about 2 hours and 15 min! So now feeling a lot less sure of myself, but strangely enough, feeling more confidant that I can learn this language, I decided that it was best to call it a night.

It is amazing how when you have to study in another language, it makes you understand the material so much better. Because it forces you to focus harder, and take your time covering the material. Now I am not saying that from now on all I am going to do is study in Spanish, but I think I learned my lesson. And have gained a valuable determination to redouble my efforts to learn this language.


  1. 20 minutes per paragraph - I feel your pain. But it will get easier. At least that's what I tell myself when my brain starts to boycott itself 1/2 way thru a WT lesson. And I can confirm that the dictionary does at times hide letters from you. Kind of like when my Bible hides Habakkuk from me. Not cool. Rock on w/ your determination. I'm inspired to amp up my efforts too. Shant.

  2. Nooooooo! Don't do spanish, do HINDI! :P Acually I am very proud of you and I think you have a major advantage in Argentina, being that everyone around you speaks spanish. They're assailing your brain with spanish everyday, and that will really help when you've just had an ah-ha moment. Although having many times vowed that you 'hate this stupid language', you'll hear your newly learned verb tense or vocab word EVERYWHERE and suddenly a little of the fog of not understanding will clear, and you will completely contradict yourself and say you love spanish.
    Keep up the good work!

  3. !Es Muy Bueno Senor Burns! Keep it up and you'll be ready to move down there permanently. If so, can Gabriella and Siena have your stuffed animals?

  4. Paula:
    Nice to know im not the only one there. Solidarity forever!

    As strange as it sounds, I am the resident Hindi expert here in BsAs. I had a "Hindi-Off" with the Indian guy from Connecticut and I won. There was talk of a Hindi "Subgroup" within our English group a while back. We were suppose to get a couple from the States to help us with that, but nothing has come of it yet.

    I think those girls are the only kids that have more stuffed friends, than i did as "Un Chico". But that being said, they are just too cute not to buy things for. So yes they get something when I come back. Or...you could just bring the family here and they could get them in person...

  5. it takes me 2 hours to do 6 paragraphs--and english is my native tongue!