With two vacations planned to Spanish-speaking countries this year, i want to gain at least a working knowledge of the language prior to departure. Knowing that i will not commit the time, effort or resources required to do it right, i did what every boneheaded traveler does – went right for the shiny-pretty-easy language CD’s at the bookstore.
“Learn Spanish In Your Car” – hey, that’s a great idea! My time in the car is usually wasted doing things like sending e-mail, talking on the phone – sometimes even driving. Why not add language training to the mix?
With several business trips during the month of May, not to mention many hours in the car driving to/from The Park when Mom has surgery mid-month, it seemed to be worth a try. I’ve studied French – am conversant*, but not fluent. I generally think it’s polite to learn at least a few basic phrases before visiting a country. Perhaps automotive exposure will be enough?
Stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, i’m looking for more “EZ” approaches to the acquisition of difficult skills. Perhaps i can find “Teach Monkeys To Fly From Your Ass While Doing Laundry”?
* My definition of “conversant” involves hand gestures, repeating myself slowly and pointing at nearby objects. i can generally ‘transmit’ but not ‘receive’. My greatest linguistic achievement? At an international conference in Lyon, France a few years back, i was the final speaker at a conference – inviting the attendees to the next event, to be held in the U.S. two years later. Since this was in the midst of the crazy “Freedom Fry” French-hating frenzy, i decided to do the speech first in French, then in English. With the help of locals, i was able to polish my delivery enough to avoid an international incident. The phrase “Rifle-dropping, Cheese-eating Surrender-Monkeys” didn’t make the cut. My dawg-boy drinking and whoring buddies colleagues from the U.S. were astonished that i appeared to be bilingual.**
** And of course, my immature, sexually stunted friends turned that into endless sophomoric jokes about lesbitarianism… which is why these particular dawg-boys are my friends!***
*** Footnotes upon footnotes? Certainly this violates some rule about form and function somewhere. Arrest me…