The Problem with Learning Languages

Somebody asked me once what the hardest part was of learning Spanish. Finally, an easy question.

The words. You have to learn so many stinkin’ words.

After every article or story I read, I think, That’s it. I have now learned every possible word. I have mastered this language. Until I read something the next day.

Here’s a partial sampling from today’s word-list, taken from my Spanish teacher’s new blog.

  • empollón
  • franqueo
  • trepa
  • bostezar
  • tanda

So I look up empollón on, and learn that it means a swot.

Oh, that’s helpful. What the heck’s a swot. I have to look that one up, too. It’s British for complete and utter geek who looks up every single word she doesn’t know.


About katiekelly

I grew up in a parking lot.
This entry was posted in Learning Spanish, Things I Bet You Didn't Know. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Problem with Learning Languages

  1. Chris says:

    Do you walk around with one of those Spanish to English dictionaries with you at all times?

  2. katiekelly says:

    No, mainly I just use when I’m reading, because I can copy and paste words and definitions as questions and answers in flashcard software that I use.

  3. Ricardo says:

    I wouldn’t fret about those particular words… they’re not deal-breakers. It’s been a while since I used or read any of them (except maybe bostezar)…

    Thanks for hitting up our podcast’s guestmap. We acknowledged you in our #50.

  4. ndurou says:

    Ja ja ja I’m going to display my awful English:

    franqueo: it’s an old way of saying stamps. It was handy for me to use that word in order to play with the franco (the bastard dictatorship)… franqueo thing. At his time in Spain his ugly face was all the time in the stamps.

    trepa: informal word to describe the guy who wants to step the social&economic ladder no matter what.

    tanda: like a bunch of things…or a sequence…a group, maybe.

    You know I love your enthusiasm.
    Hasta pronto.

  5. katiekelly says:

    Natalia, como yo siempre quiero que te sientas cómoda, te ofrezco esto:

    Mis mundos se chocan. En nuestra clase mañana, iba a decir a Natalia (nuestra clase es avanzada; me está enseñando a cotillear) que ayer en el bus, me desperté de una siestacita en pánico más o menos, porque temía que me hubiera olvidado bajarme del bus a la parada correcta. Mientras trataba de averiguar dónde estaba, una voz de ninguna parte (me olvidé que escuchaba Hablemos de Cine en mi mp3 player) Ricardo (vete el comentario anterior) me dijo, “Y ahora, quisiéramos decir Hola a Katie en San Rafael.”

    Todo esto pasó exactamente en aquello estado entre realidad y sueño. Tuve que escuchar dos o tres veces. El mensaje está en 27:11 en el podcast. Naty, te mostraré mañana.

    Y ahora, ellos dos me están escribiendo mensajes en mi blog. ¡Hola a vosotros dos, y gracias por escribirme!

    En inglés, este se traduciría a “serendipity.”

  6. Ricardo says:

    En castellano, se traduce a “realismo mágico”.

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