Learn Spanish

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It is an experience to be able to listen to a grandma, aunt, or mother tell a famous “cuento” (story) like” caperucita roja” or red riding hood in Spanish. Often through literal translation much of the beauty that is Spanish is lost. It seems today that more and more Latinos and Latinas are not being taught Spanish or do not want to learn Spanish. This kind of attitude from both parents and children could be detrimental to the language and our culture. There are a few simple ways to learn a bit of Spanish every day.

Find a Buddy
It is much easier to learn and really stick to something you when you have a partner learning with you. Find a friend who wants to learn Spanish too. Partners can provide support for each other, because sometimes learning something new can be frustrating.

Try Spanish hour with friends
If you have friends who speak Spanish, ask them to once a day only speak Spanish to you for an hour or at least thirty minutes. Constantly carrying an English to Spanish dictionary could come in handy during Spanish hour. The bilingual dictionary is especially helpful if you don’t have friends who speak Spanish fluently. If your phone can download apps, there is also a free Dictionary.com app that works as a translator as well.

Take a class at your local community college
Most community colleges offer courses in languages that are open to the public and are not expensive. They are more common during the summer and could also be a great way to make new friends!

Watch a Telenovela
Getting involved in a melodramatic television show could help give you motivation to learn Spanish. Below is a link to Univision, a television station, and the lineup of novelas. http://novelasyseries.univision.com/novelas-y-series-a-z/novelas-del-momento

Challenge yourself
Read a novel in Spanish. This may seem a bit difficult, but could be a truly rewarding accomplishment. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is a very good book and could make your first reading experience a bit easier. It is a very short novel and has pictures almost like a children’s book for adults. It will be much easier to read a novel you already know and love.

Learning Spanish could also benefit you by making you much more of an asset to the business world. More and more employers are hiring bilingual applicants. Spanish could give you an extra edge over the competition. You can also communicate with older generations of your family that may only speak Spanish or speak to members of your community that only speak Spanish. Spanish is a large part of our heritage and could help you feel more connected to your roots. It is important to learn Spanish and with our many traditions keep our culture alive.

February 2011

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