Wednesday, January 11, 2006

¡Nunca he visto jugar al quidditch!

I've been on a quest to improve my Spanish lately, and I've decided it's time to start actually reading Spanish-language books. In a fit of ambition I checked out four from the public library, and now I'm certain I won't have them all read by the time they are due back. I won't even have the first one finished. I'm starting with Harry Potter (I'm not sure why I grabbed the second in the series, Harry Potter y la cámara secreta, from the shelf, but I don't think it makes a difference) because my knowledge of the story line will help with comprehension, and I figured that children's books will be easier. But it's still slow going. I'm lucky to make it through 4 or 5 pages in 20 minutes, and even though I try not to reach for el diccionario constantly (making myself figure out unfamilar words from context is good practice), I can't help it sometimes. "Wow," I think occasionally "Spanish-speaking youngsters are really smart to know all these big, strange words ..."

I think I'm learning, but it's hard to tell. I am getting a lot of exposure to the second-person plural familiar (vosotros) verb conjugations, which are almost never used in Latin American Spanish. So now if someone surprises me by actually using vosotros in a conversation ... well, I'll still be rather surprised. And if I ever have a run-in with some Cornish Pixies (duendecillos de Cornualles), I'll be able to share the experience with a Spanish-speaking acquaintance.

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