The Challenge: Spanish in a Week

And why not? A week-long project seems just about all I can promise myself. I love languages (as I have said on many occasions), so learning them is something I do for the long haul. I will continue to practise, and read, etc, for as long as I remain interested, and I think this will be a life long interest, but that remains to be seen. For now, anything more than a week-long commitment may be more than I can follow through on.

So, as to the reasons for my project:

  1. My local library opened again after the holidays and my husband and I were there yesterday like flies around the sweet honey of BOOKS!!
  2. Spanish is one of the next on my list to learn, and this will give me a quick basic grounding in a language I want to learn.
  3. I wish to test the “in a week” concept.
  4. I wish to challenge myself.

At this point, I wish to comment on point 4: I know at this stage I am not going to follow through on some year-long project of “Julie and Julia” proportion. As it is, I am already making excuses to myself for if I don’t complete this book within the week, like what if something comes up and what if I miraculously get a job in the next week… So, I’m blogging about it now, because I know I am capable of focusing on something for a mere week, if I simply dedicate myself.

Now about the book itself. It is a short book, divided into seven clearly marked sections for the seven days of the week. It is geared toward people intending to visit Spain, so it includes the kind of everyday situations you would expect to find in a phrase book. Each section consists of a dialogue, translation of the dialogue broken up into categories, explanation of the grammar, and ‘things to do’ – suggested self practice. Also, very useful, there is a ‘vocabulary’ at the back; alphabetical and another one that is broken into lists of words divided into categories. The only concern is that the book is about 20 years old (there may be more recent versions, I don’t know), so I hope it’s not too out-of-date.

How will I test my knowledge? Well, the book does not really provide for self-testing, so I think I will just have to look through the book again and figure out if there is anything I do not understand.  Also, if I battle with the later chapters, it will probably mean that I have not thoroughly learned and understood the earlier ones.

I have taken brief forays into learning Spanish before, but never anything near this much. So if I manage this, it should give me a good grounding in Spanish to expand on.

One last thing that I think needs to be said. I think Spanish is going to be a lot more manageable ‘in a week’ than a language that is not similar to languages I have already learned, and one that uses a different alphabet, etc. Spanish words will be easier to memorize than say Russian or Japanese, because they sound similar to words I already know.

That being said, I will begin today. Wish me luck.

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