Spanish Food for thought
A couple of years later I accepted an assignment from a client that landed me in Mexico City. I thought that here was another chance to learn Spanish. I bought some language tapes and used them for a few weeks. I thought that with the tapes and being around people all day that spoke Spanish, I was bound to learn. Once again I found that “I wasn’t getting it”, although I did learn how to order off any menu I saw in Mexico (I love food). The business meetings I attended and the work I was doing were all conducted in English, so I was able to complete my assignment without having to know Spanish. I realized that the menu “thing” was a clue for me. That because food was something I had a strong interest in I had force myself to learn enough Spanish to be able to take advantage of my love of food. Had I stumbled upon some unknown method of learning? Was this an epiphany that would unlock the secret to learning a language? Well no, I have found through some articles I’ve read that this “secret” is well known. That if some interest, desire, need, or desperation is present that makes you want to (or have to) learn the language them you will learn the language.
Unfortunately my interest in ordering food is not a big enough basis to learn a whole language, and that’s “the rub” as they say. So the question becomes is my desire to learn Spanish going to be enough to motivate me to learn Spanish. The articles I read also related a couple of other interesting facts. One, the people that learn languages easily are in the minority and two that it takes a lot of effort to learn a language.
So now I am trying an immersion program, which is taking a lot of effort. I believe in the adage that “hard work is it’s own reward” and hopefully I will reap the benefit of my efforts. But it’s not just plodding along memorizing words and trying to follow grammar rules that will give me the results I want. I have to use Spanish in order for it to make sense, and that has certainly been the hardest part. It’s embarrassing to sound like Tonto from the Lone Ranger (me go, you stay), but I know that’s what it will take. They say that learning a new language can be fun, but I guess it’s all a matter of your perspective, but there is another old adage I believe in which is “it is what you make of it”.