I wrote before that I want to become fluent in Spanish, as much as I’m in English. Although is not my favourite language (I by far prefer the sound of French and Arabic), that’s a very useful tool whether you work or travel.
I started to study Spanish again when I came back from Dublin last year, and I’m sort of proud of recognizing that I’m keeping up with my commitment.
My first attempt to be engaged with the language was a basic course in Duolingo, and for my surprise, that happened to be a huge incentive. As it’s a game, you get points as long as you learn more content, so it was fun and easy to complete the tasks.
I also reviewed a book that I bought some years ago with Grammar lessons, which it’s still one of my weak points.
Back to Sao Paulo in August, it became more challenging to stick with my purpose, as I lived in horrible places during some months. However, I used to go to a library not only to study but also to find some peace – which’s impossible when you share a crappy place with noisy people.
Thank goodness things improved since last year, and now I live in a decent house, with normal fellows and I have a reasonable place to study. Nonetheless, my problem now is finding time.
I wish I could have more time to study Spanish, as being fluent – or at least to reach a real advanced level – is one of my goals to be pursued by the end of 2017.
I work a lot during the week – not so many hours but my routine in the office is fatiguing. As a result, I’m usually tired in the evening, when I have some spare time to concentrate on my personal interests.
Thank my current job – I write texts about international issues – I’m in contact with the language all the time. I have to read news in Spanish and English in order to write content in Portuguese. As I need to translate some expressions, I always learn something new at the end of the day. Sometimes I have the opportunity to interview people too, so all these things help me boost different abilities.
Outside the office, I try to study Grammar at least an hour per week to understand the “rules”. Also, I like writing about different subjects (especially regarding my habits and own reality), which it’s a chance to apply what I’ve already learned and pick up my writing. It’d be great to write every week, but it’s has been difficult to keep up with this task, so I do it whenever I can.
Apart from these “regular” activities, I listen to more music in Spanish (mainly from Spain, just cause I like it), watch more movies and documentaries and listen to podcasts. I used to join conversation groups regularly, but nowadays I’m not in a mood for small talk, so I attend a meeting from time to time.
I wish I could be less timid and speak Spanish at home as I live with native speakers (really), who are nice people, but I still don’t feel confident to speak Spanish as much as I do it in English (at this point I’m a bit lazy too, I admit that).
Occasionally I have a feeling that I’m not doing enough, I mean, I do lots of things during the week but I really wanted to have more time to study. At the same time, I try to be patient with myself and think that I’m doing what it’s possible at the moment. I’m not a robot, I’m a human being, and I have the right to be tired sometimes or do other things if I wish. It was necessary more than a decade to be fluent in English, and surely I need at least more two years to enhance the level of my third language.
Calm down, I tell myself once more.