For quite a while now, I have been working on a goal that particularly intimidated me,
#055: Read a novel in Spanish.
And I am very, very proud to say that today I finally accomplished it!
Let me give you some background on my experience with the spanish language...
I am half mexican but I never learned how to speak spanish as a child.
I have always somewhat understood the language, because I grew up listening
to my mother's side of the family speak it, but I never really made an effort to speak it myself.
I have always wanted to learn the language because I hated when my mom and aunts
would talk about me in their "secret code" (don't lie Mom, I know you did it!!!).
Mostly, however, I have wanted to learn spanish because I want to be able
to communicate with my nana (grandmother) who does not speak english.
|Taken last Mother's Day|
I have taken spanish classes in school since the 7th grade, but, of course,
I have only learned as much as one can learn from a book. There comes a point
in language when the only way to really learn it is to fully immerse yourself in it --
speak it, read it, think it, and even dream it.
And sooooooo! I read Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal.
I know, I know, it was typical of me to choose to read a Harry Potter
book in spanish, haha. Some people have said that I am cheating and that this
shouldn't count because I have read those books so many times, but I have to disagree.
After all, why would spanish teachers make us watch Beauty & The Beast or Finding Nemo
in spanish if it weren't helpful? They do it because they know we already understand what is
going on in the story, which means we are able to associate the spanish words and phrases with
a story we all know by heart. And that is what I did with this book.
The first couple of pages took me about thirty minutes to read because
I was literally looking up every other word in the dictionary. But then I realized,
this is what it must feel like when a child reads! After that, every time I encountered a word
or phrase I didn't understand, I just keep reading. I contextualized the word, and, hopefully,
the next time I encountered it, I would understand. And I learned so many new words!
(Many of them entirely useless in real life haha --
duendes = goblins, mago = magician, lechuza = owl,
maleficio = curse, Recordadora = Remembral hehe)
Blah blah blah. Sorry for the rambling entry. I really, really enjoyed
accomplishing this goal. I plan to continue reading books in spanish while
I am in Chile, but I haven't decided yet whether I should venture to other
authors or continue with this series. What do you think?