Status update: Learning Spanish

October 22, 2009 at 11:03 am (Colombia)

Well, I’m not fluent in Spanish or anything yet … but here’s a few signs that I might be getting closer to my goal of being bilingual:

  • There are fewer blank stares in my Grade 6 class when I explain a new concept
  • Emilse and I can actually sit down and chat over lunch (not about politics or global warming, but still)
  • I’ve forgotten some English words
  • I’m starting to second-guess my English spelling
  • I actually listen when people talk in Spanish, instead of unconsciously tuning them out
  • I’m quite good at Spanglish
  • I’ve answered Emilse’s phone a few times and not made a complete fool of myself
  • I’ve been told I have good pronunciation
  • I know (most of) the Books of the Bible in Spanish

I still have a long way to go, but progress is progress!



  1. andrewbpaterson said,

    Slowly but surely!!!

    Do you have a Spanishized name? Like…one that resembles “Cheryl”, but makes it easier for others to pronounce?

    i.e. Andrew = Undree-u (with a rolled “r”, of course)
    Kristin = Kreesteen

  2. Mel said,

    Sounds like significant progress to me! Awesome work!

  3. Cheryl said,

    I totally do, Andrew. The people that don’t have to call me “Miss” or “teacher” usually call me Chere or Sheri …. absolutely no one who is a native Spanish speaker has successfully pronounced the “yl”. It’s pretty entertaining.

  4. Rachel said,

    Cheryl, when I was in Congo, I went by Rachelle, b/c it came out sounding like “Witchi” otherwise. :) Mind you, I couldn’t pronounce Rachelle properly, so I was always being corrected on my name. :) And, I think the best was to know if you’ve gotten the language is when your head no longer hurts at the end of the day from so much concentration.

  5. Rachel said,

    oops! *way* not “was”. And I’m proud of you, Cher! Good job!

  6. Kristine Gravelle-Rystenbil said,

    Immersion is the best way to learn a new language. You’re doing great!!!

  7. andrewbpaterson said,

    haha….that’s awesome!
    It’s always entertaining. As long as one isn’t offended when someone from a different culture mispronounces one’s name.

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