By Euro Weekly News Media • 17 May 2011 • 16:25
WHEN it comes to learning a language I am a hard act to follow. From pole position I can be as lippy as you like in my chosen idiom. Oscar Wilde summed me up perfectly when he surmised: “I am not young enough to know everything.” Learning a language is a walk in the park. You simply have to go about it the right way. I was so enthusiastic that when just a few months old I enrolled in mother’s language course and learned my first words.
Quickly progressing in less than a year I had the ability and profanity to hold pretty good discourse with my peers and betters. Credit where it is due English is one of the world’s most insane languages.
Is there a secret to learning language so quickly? There has to be an incentive. I realised you don’t get your own way or what you want unless you communicate in the language of the person who has got it. You can’t do the things you wish to unless it’s been explained to you. I liked food and drink; toys, sweets, to go and play; and I wanted to know how things worked.
I learned also that acquiring a new language wasn’t something you achieve by putting an hour or so aside each week. It has to be practiced all day every day. To my credit I managed the whole palaver without a clue as to what an impersonal or split verb is, or what a pronoun, past tense or subjective reflex was. I think conjugation is something you’re allowed to do when you marry; you get your conjugation rights or is it rites? I cannot remember.
I think a third person singular form is when three’s a crowd and you wish that it was you who was on your own. I still don’t know and to be candid couldn’t care less. I don’t have to know the ins and outs of a car’s engine to be able to drive the vehicle.
The Michael Walsh Lingual Studies Tutorial is a breeze. You are guaranteed to learn enough Spanish to get by in just a few weeks unless you’re several months old: Infants take longer because they are pretty dumb. This is a free service and overheads are negligible if you can get some kind person to buy you children’s books and comics.
First of all put to the back of your mind language you already know.
This is a scratch start. Learn the basics; numbers, names; objects like toy, food, drink: Learn as a child does. Think, listen, learn and repeat your chosen language endlessly. If you see a word you don’t understand pick up a dictionary. I still do and I am ‘retired’.
Buy children’s books, comics and tabloid newspapers. Watch Spanish TV and listen to the car radio. Eavesdrop when in the company of Spaniards. Don’t switch off; listen intently and pick up pronunciation. Use it or lose it.
You will be thrilled when you start picking up key words and discovering the gist of what is being discussed. There will be key words; names, basic words; seat, table, cutlery and food types.
It is easier than you think; 40 per-cent of Latin-based Spanish words are either the same or similar to English.
Learn the pronunciation and key words and you’re almost there. Practice is easy; as in English most are used in every conversation.
Soon you will experience the biggest thrill of all: communicating in Spanish.
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