Apriendo Espanol – Learning Spanish. (Glen)

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We are moving to Spain. A great opportunity to learn the Spanish language—true, they also speak Catalan in Barcelona, but we’re told by people “in the know” that we’ll get by just fine with Spanish.

And, what an incredible feeling it will be to speak it fluently. I can picture it now, Julie and I are strolling in our little section of Barcelona…we wander into the outdoor market on the cobblestone square…we walk up to a stall and begin to carry on a conversation with a local farmer about his beautiful apples. He chats with us about his orchard, which is only 30 kilometers to the northwest of Barcelona, and he invites us to stop in and see him if we’re ever in the area. How fun is that?

Fun? Yes, the idea of chatting with someone in their native language is fun, but the work to learn that new language, as an adult, can be as they say in Spanish, “muy dificil”.

CaraJulie and I signed up for some online classes with the world’s best, and most patient, Spanish tutor, Cara Hairston. That’s a screen shot of an online tutorial.

Simple questions, time, months, days of the week, numbers…no problem. Then, we ran into conjugating verbs {in Spanish, the verb changes slightly based on the subject of the sentence: I, you (informal), he, she, it, we, you (formal) and they}.  Oh, and don’t forget irregular verbs, stem change verbs, present continuous verbs…and that’s just scratching the surface on verbs!

It reminds me of something a philosophy professor at The Ohio State University told me, “The joy is not in doing the activity, it’s in having done it.”  He went on to elaborate that when you’re freezing and gasping for oxygen on the ascent of Mt Everest, no one contemplates the joy of climbing in that moment, but back in the warmth of base camp everyone, who has had a successful climb looks back on the endeavor with great joy.

Julie and I are on the journey to learn Spanish. We’re not in the joy phase yet, but we know it will come when we can stroll up to that farmer in the market and say with confidence, “sus manzanas se ven fantastica!”


  1. Vicki Starkey says

    Either you all are MUCH faster learners than I, OR you started this language learning quite a while ago, OR this imaginary chat with the farmer will not be happening in the very first month of your stay! 😄 Love you guys, your adventurous spirit, and your dedication to go all in!! Thanks for sharing the journey with us.


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