Learning Spanish – Alan & Heidi Speak!

Greetings One & All!  Since our initial post, we’ve been getting a lot of encouragement, and a bunch of questions about our progress on learning Spanish.  So consider this an update!

Alan and Heidi (learning spanish status update) at Banco más bonito del mundo Loida Galicia Spain

Why Are We Doing This?

Remember we are trying to give you a monthly update of our progress with speaking more Spanish.  We are trying to get good enough to attend a week-long intensive Spanish course, with Pueblo Español.  It isn’t just a few hours a day either, it is a full Spanish immersion program for adults.  Our update in January was a written update and told you what our plans for improving our Spanish.  This month we have a little more for you.

What Have We Done So Far?

Since January 9th, we’ve been attending a local residence course for one hour, twice a week.  We’ve also had three online classes with Pueblo Español.  Those classes are set in a virtual meeting room where we can see and hear our instructor, and he can see and hear us.

How Are We Presenting This Update?

We decided to do a YouTube video.  That way, you can see and hear how we’re coming along.  Now for those of you who don’t know any Spanish, you’ll still probably find this entertaining.  Trying to figure out the What and How to say things in a foreign language can be frustrating, and it looks the same, no matter the language.

What to look for?  The “I’m glancing around the room trying to rack my brains on what/how to say” look.  I’m an expert on that look.  What does it sound like?  You can tell when we’re struggling, because we’ll use the word “Uhhhh” a lot.

Spanish Conversation?

For our Learning Spanish video, we decided that we would do it separately.  Why?  For a number of reasons:

  1. We want to!  It’s our blog.  Our blog; our rules!
  2. You’ll be better able to see our individual fluency.  Heidi is better at Spanish, and has a much larger vocabulary.  When we’ve been in Spanish classes together, she carries me.  Inevitably, when the instructor asks us about our family, what we do, where we live, etc., Heidi puts together a coherent response.When it’s my turn, I usually give a one word reply, “Mismo” (same).  Or, I’ll just point to her, and use the international look of “Yeah, me too!”.  Not good, is it?  By doing separate videos you’ll see how much more fluent she sounds than I do.
  3. If we were to have a discussion together in Spanish, our concern was that it would sound either really bad, or it would sound rehearsed.
  4. I wanted to have some assistance, so I enlisted the lovely Anya Boo to ask me questions in Spanish.

And Now, We Present The Video:  Learning Spanish – Heidi & Alan’s First Update

I’m up first, but if you just want to listen to Heidi, you can go here.  Now for those of you who do know Spanish, I know we need work.  No need to leave hatemail.  And remember…don’t judge!

And Let The Reviews Begin

What do you think?  It’s OK.  We have thick skin.  Watching my part of the video makes me cringe.  I should have said this, or said that, but it was not rehearsed at all, so it’s more authentic, and a better reflection of how our Spanish language skills are progressing.

Thanks for watching!  Stay tuned for our next update…

13 thoughts on “Learning Spanish – Alan & Heidi Speak!”

  1. I thought it was great! Both of you are better than you probably think you are. It’s hard learning… your kids have it a lot easier, much more flexible brains. 🙂

  2. I really support you in this. It’s brave of you and I laud you. I too am finding my Spanish language learning going very slowly and am at much the same place you are. It’s the different word order that gets me, plus the conjugations, of course. And what is this about 2 different past tenses? Sigh. My husband, who learned Spanish as his first language but was raised in the US, says that the word order still gets him, too. That makes me feel better. I feel like I sound like an idiot when I speak Spanish but everyone I speak with is so kind and patient that it makes me love this country all the more. I’m slugging it out to build my vocabulary, too, and love words like gota (drop) and gato (cat) or rastro (trace) and rostro (face) because it’s fun to remember them. I especially love that ladrillos means both barks and bricks. And I love that so many of my silly mistakes make me and others laugh. So, keep it up! It IS really tougher for us than it is for the kids, and we’re creating new brain cells to boot. Now, I’m back to my duolingo practice. My daily exercise in humility and small victories. 🙂 Thanks for this. You’re both an inspiration.

      1. Robin Renteria

        And we look forward to meeting y’all!
        Esperamos que podamos conocerlos también!
        Oh, that was a tough one. I’m not sure it’s right.
        Back to the studying!

  3. You guys are really improving; I’m so impressed! But Alan, you look like you’re in front of a firing squad. 🙂

  4. Well done you guys! it takes so much courage to speak a new language in public and I really respect that you put yourselves out there! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and find it so helpful as we plan our move to Spain, which is till a ways out (fall of 2018). Thank you for all the info and for sharing your struggles with Spanish as well.

  5. Well, as someone who only speaks english, I think you are both doing great! I admire both of you very much. Keep up the good work!

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