My Top Ten Reasons For Learning Spanish

 ¡No me gusta! This phrase translates “I don’t like.” And what don’t I like you may ask? Well, today it’s Spanish. You see, I am really and truly sick of Spanish.

For nine months I’ve been trying to learn Spanish. Actually longer if you count my months of Rosetta Stone pre-move. For nine months I’ve been limited in my communication and for nine months I’ve sounded like a toddler. For nine months I’ve failed to roll my rrrrrrrr’s even after remedial r trilling class. For nine months I’ve ordered wrong meals in restaurants, and caused a lot of awkward silences in conversations. It’s actually really quite sad. 

Today I literally think I may vomit if I have to conjugate another verb, or hear another commercial in Spanish. If I have to read another road sign, or have a Spanish phone conversation I may beat someone up!

So in an effort to find joy in the language learning process and to laugh at myself, I’ve decided to list a few positives to learning Spanish. Here are my Top Ten Reasons For Learning Spanish:

1o. It really will be worth it in the end because I’ll be bi-lingual (right????).

9. When I visit Mexican restaurants in the States I’ll find out what the waiters are really saying about me behind my back.

8. I can relate on a personal level with my three year old son…”yes, honey, pronouns are hard to learn”.

7. I can swear and no one will know (um…unless they speak Spanish).

6. I can walk into a Taco Bell and pretend I don’t speak English.

5. I can look really cool posting facebook status updates in two languages.

4. I get to put cool swirly things over n’s sometimes.

3. I can understand all the words to Livin’ La Vida Loca

2. If I ever meet Antonio Banderas I can converse with him in his native language.

…and the number one positive thing about learning to speak Spanish…

1. I have to think before I speak. (ok…you can stop applauding at this one)

I realize these are stupid and silly but I think some good can come of this language learning process. Maybe I will actually grow up! Maybe I will learn that someone else can say it better than me, maybe I’ll learn to be a good listener, and maybe I’ll learn the art of entering someone else’s world and loving them on their terms, not mine. If I can get that, it makes it worthwhile.

8 Responses to My Top Ten Reasons For Learning Spanish

  1. Great post! Hang in there – you’re doing really well and working hard to learn the language. You’ll get it eventually. Your “total immersion” approach will pay off in the end and you will be able to enter more deeply into the lives of those you moved to El Salvador to minister to. And if you need to speak English to someone, you can always call me! 🙂

  2. Keep going!! hang in there! I understand, it´s hard but…
    ¡¡¡SÍ SE PUEDE!!!
    ¡¡¡¡VALE LA PENA!!!!

  3. Hi Danielle (& Jon) – it helps us to remember that the better we are able to speak, the easier it will be for others to listen to us when God has life-transforming things for us to say to them. Keep at it,
    Blessings, Norm (& Audrey)

  4. Hey! I love this post! I’m glad that you are being honest and are at least trying to find something to smile about…your sense of humor, as always, keeps me smiling! One of the things that your honesty about your frustrations with learning Spanish has taught me is to be more sensitive to those here (in the US) who speak in “broken” English.

    So, God is using your frustrations for good even if you can’t see it! And, at least you will speak better Spanish than me when we come to visit! Love you!

  5. P.S. Jeff is ALWAYS correcting my “r”s…apparently I can’t switch from French r’s to Spanish r’s that easily!

  6. Hey everyone thanks for the encouragement! Sometimes I have to laugh at myself and post stupid things like this but it is worth it, and this week is going good so far…now back to practicing “RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR” !!!!

  7. I went on a mission trip to El Salvador and my son is now courting one of the girls that was our translator. My son attends West Point and is fervently trying to learn more Spanish so he can speak with her parents. It is a long process. I liked your post and your attitude! I lived in France for a year and sometimes I felt that my tongue was swelling from speaking the language 24/7.

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